The King of Spain has awarded the Order of Isabella the Catholic to Pascoal Mocumbi, former Prime Minister of Mozambique and President of the Manhiça Foundation, in recognition of his active contribution to strengthening Spanish-Mozambican relations as Minister of Health, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Prime Minister of Mozambique, as well as his later work as a founding member and President of the Manhiça Foundation.
A joint initiative of the Spanish and Mozambican governments, the Manhiça Foundation manages the Manhiça Health Research Centre (CISM), an organisation that conducts biomedical research and trains technical staff to combat diseases such as malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis. Through his support and commitment to this health research initiative, Dr Mocumbi has played a key role in advancing this project, the result of cooperation between the Spanish and Mozambican governments and the various private, public and academic institutions that support its work. With its objectives of building Mozambique's national capacities and improving the quality of care provided by the country's public health care system, the Manhiça Foundation is in line with the aims of Spanish cooperation in Mozambique.
Created in 1815, the Order of Isabella the Catholic is a civil decoration that recognises exceptional contributions by Spaniards or foreigners that benefit Spain or foster friendly, cooperative relations between Spain and the rest of the international community.