The 2018 Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture is to be delivered by former US President Barack Obama on 17 July in Johannesburg, the Nelson Mandela Foundation has announced.
The Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture is one of the Foundation’s flagship programmes to honour its founder, Nelson Mandela. Obama’s Lecture, will fall on the eve of Mandela’s Centenary – he would have tuned 100 years old on 18th July.
Launching the Mandela Centenary programme of activities in February this year, the NMF Chief Executive Sello Hatang explained that the Madiba’s Centenary is aimed at inspiring a values-based society. “The Foundation wants the values of integrity, passion, respect, service, transformation and transparency to be the pillars of society. These are the values we as the Foundation live by and we should transfer them to our daily lives if we are to make a meaningful contribution to society,” he said.
Every year since 2003, global leaders have used the lecture to raise topical issues affecting South Africa, Africa and the rest of the world.
To honour the centennial of Madiba’s birth the lecture’s theme will be “Renewing the Mandela Legacy and Promoting Active Citizenship in a Changing World”. The Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture will focus on creating conditions for bridging divides, working across ideological lines, and resisting oppression and inequality, the Foundation said in a statement.
The lecture will take place on the 17 July 2018, a day before Nelson Mandela International Day, which is also his birthday, and will be held at the Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg. About 4 000 people are expected to attend.
“The Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture is a unique platform to drive debate on critical social issues in South Africa and around the world,” states the NMF adding:
“For most of his life, Nelson Mandela fought for democracy and equality. His presidency was defined by his efforts to solidify the fragile democracy of South Africa, and by his lessons on the politics of bridge-building’ over the politics of division.
The Foundation, is the ccustodian of Mandela’s life and times and is committed to preserving his living legacy, while mandated to promoting his lifelong vision of freedom and equality for all. It also houses the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, where he worked after the end of his presidency in 1999, until he left public service in 1994.
Famous names who have delivered the Lecture in the past since its launch in 2003 have included Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mo Ibrahim, Bill Clinton, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Bill Gates, the late environmentalist Wangari Maathai and many more.