The London-based Foundation called the cleric “one of Africa’s great voices for justice, freedom, democracy and responsible, responsive government”.
He won the Nobel Peace Prize – and 10m Swedish Krona (£935,000) – in 1984 for his campaign against apartheid. Archbishop Tutu responded by thanking his wife, Leah, for her guidance.
“I have been very fortunate throughout my life to be surrounded by people of the highest caliber, beginning with my extraordinary wife,” said the archbishop in a statement.
“It is these generous people who have guided, prodded, assisted, cajoled – and ultimately allowed me to take the credit.” The statement said the retired archbishop of Capetown was celebrating his and his wife’s
birthdays with family and staff – he turns 81 on Sunday, while Mrs Tutu’s birthday is a week later.
The South African cleric remains outspoken on international affairs, and has been a fierce critic of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians as well as China’s treatment of Tibetans.
In August, he pulled out of a leadership summit in Johannesburg because he refused to share a platform with former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Archbishop Tutu said Mr Blair and former US President George W Bush should be tried at the International Criminal Court in The Hague for lying about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction in order to justify invading the country. Mr Blair issued a strongly worded defence of his decisions, rejecting the archbishop’s allegations as “completely wrong as every single independent analysis of the evidence has shown”.