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Thabo Mbeki speaker

Thabo Mbeki

Johannesburg, South Africa

Former President of South Africa (1999-2008)

Champion of the African Renaissance

One of the ANC’s leaders during the anti-apartheid struggle

“The African Renaissance in all its parts, can only succeed if its aims and objectives are defined by Africans themselves” – Thabo Mbeki

Thabo Mbeki served as President of South Africa from 1999 to 2008.

During his time in office, the economy grew at 4.5% per annum, and witnessed the emergence of a confident black middle class with the implementation of Black Economic Empowerment (BEE). He attracted the bulk of Africa’s Foreign Direct Investment, and made South Africa the focal point of African growth. He was the architect of the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) whose aim is to develop an integrated socio-economic development framework for Africa.

He also oversaw the successful building of economic bridges to BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) nations with the eventual formation of the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Dialogue Forum to “further political consultation and co-ordination as well as strengthening sectoral co-operation, and economic relations”.

The Thabo Mbeki Foundation was launched in 2010 to nurture a new generation of leaders in South Africa and across the continent.

Our Comment

"Thabo Mbeki has been a powerful figure in African politics, positioning SA as a regional power broker and also promoting the idea that African political conflicts should be solved by Africans. He headed the formation of NEPAD and the African Union (AU)."

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