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IFAD Goodwill Ambassador

Idris Elba

British actor and humanitarian Idris Elba was appointed UN Goodwill Ambassador for IFAD in April 2020.

As an IFAD Goodwill Ambassador, Idris will focus on issues related to food security, climate change and environmental conservation.

He recently visited an IFAD-supported project in Sierra Leone, where he met farmers who received support for rice production and assistance with rural finance after the Ebola crisis.   

Idris Elba is an award-winning actor, producer, director and humanitarian who has secured his reputation as one of the most versatile actors in Hollywood.

Born and raised in the United Kingdom to a Sierra Leonean father and Ghanaian mother, Elba started his career on the small screen in some of the UK’s top-rated shows. Soon, Elba landed the role of Stringer Bell in HBO’s critically acclaimed series The Wire, which garnered an NAACP Image Award nomination.

In 2010, Elba landed the title role on the BBC mini-series Luther, earning him a Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors’ Guild (SAG) Award, as well as four Primetime Emmy Award nominations. Elba’s film career began in 2007 with American Gangster. He later went on to star in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and Beasts of No Nation, earning a Golden Globe Award for Mandela and a SAG Award for Beasts. He recently completed production on The Suicide Squad with Margot Robbie and is currently filming Concrete Cowboys.

Behind the camera, Elba made his feature film directorial debut at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival with Yardie. In 2013, Elba founded his production company, Green Door Pictures, to champion diversity of thought. With Green Door, Elba released the documentary Mandela, My Dad and Me, produced the TV mini-series Guerrilla for the Showtime network, and created and produced and appears in the 2018 Sky comedy series In the Long Run.

Queen Elizabeth II awarded Elba with the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2016. The Prince's Trust, a UK youth charity founded by Prince Charles in 1976, which Elba credits with helping to start his career, appointed him as their anti-crime ambassador in April 2009.

Elba’s charitable work off the set is just as commendable as his acting accolades. He supports causes related to poverty, HIV/AIDS, at-risk and disadvantaged youths, health and education. Elba worked with the United Nations and the DFID during the Ebola health crisis and filmed campaigns in support of UNICEF, as well as the Sustainable Development Goals campaign.

He has also recently created a number of youth-focused campaigns to promote education and learning and discourage violence.