Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu, who has had health problems recently, is celebrating his 85th birthday in South Africa.

President Jacob Zuma marked Tutu's birthday on Friday, saying the former archbishop made big contributions to South African democracy, which followed the end of white minority rule in 1994.

In a statement, Zuma says Tutu continues to inspire through his promotion of human rights and the welfare of all, particularly the poor.

Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his peaceful campaign against apartheid.

Tutu has been hospitalized several times since last year because of infections linked to past treatment for prostate cancer. He has been treated for the cancer for many years, and his family previously said the cancer is under control.