Thabo Mbeki Foundation: 5th Africa Day Lecture

ASC members attended the 5th Thabo Mbeki Foundation Africa Day Lecture. Hosted by the University of South Africa and the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute, the evening event was built around the topic of “Defining a leadership paradigm for a new Africa”.

With a welcome from Professor Mandla Makhanya, Vice Chancellor of UNISA, introductory remarks from former President Mbeki and a key note address from His Excellency Salim Ahmed Salim, the event offered a real opportunity to hear and share in the wisdom of seasoned diplomats and international relations expertise.

As the former Prime Minister of Tanzania, Ambassador and High Commissioner to China, India, Egypt and Cuba, to mention only a few, and the President of the International Conference on Sanctions against South Africa, Salim Salim is probably better placed than most to share insights on the topic at hand.

The input was inspiring, informative and absolutely pertinent, addressing and acknowledging the problems faced by our continent and its leaders, but seeking always to look to the future and the best possible ways for us to move forward collectively. The final text of the input is available here. (http://www.thabombekifoundation.org.za/Pages/PRESENTATION-BY-DR-SALIM-AHMED-SALIM,.aspx)

In addition to the formal speech, the Ambassador shared personal stories, including the efforts to have representatives of the apartheid South African government physically removed from the UN General Assembly after they had officially been suspended, back in 1974.

With reference to the Freedom Generation of African leaders, including Nkrumah, Nasser, Lumumba, Balewa, Keita, Mondlane and others, the Ambassador reminded us that Africa had demonstrated its ability to produce great leadership. He referred specifically to the people-centered nature of this leadership, leaders that saw their role as serving the people and who had a strong sense of Vision, Mission and the values of commitment and selflessness.

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