The Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), in Canada, is awarding an honorary doctorate (doctor honoris causa) to Foundation Board member Jay Naidoo. The ceremony will be held on 9 June at UQAM's Centre Pierre-Péladeau.
According to the university, the award symbolises the "recognition of Jay Naidoo's exemplary commitment to the defence of democracy, social justice, peace and human rights as well as the scope of his countless achievements for the benefit of vulnerable populations in several countries".
Born in South Africa in 1954, Naidoo dedicated himself to fighting apartheid, championing the cause alongside Steve Biko and working for the betterment of the underprivileged. As the general secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), the largest trade union federation, he played a crucial role in the struggle against apartheid, demonstrating unwavering courage and ethics.
Naidoo served as Minister for the Reconstruction and Development Programme under President Nelson Mandela. He also held the position of Minister of Post, Telecommunications, and Broadcasting, leading the adoption of the African Connection, a political framework that ignited a digital revolution across Africa. After leaving politics, Naidoo led several large-scale projects for social development and the fight against poverty and illiteracy.