South African President Thabo Mbeki visits UNESCOSouth African President Thabo Mbeki will pay a visit to UNESCO Headquarters on November 19 at the invitation of the Organization’s Director-General, Koïchiro Matsuura.
He will address a gathering of ambassadors, Permanent Delegates to UNESCO, researchers, intellectuals, international civil servants and civil society representatives at 10.15 a.m. in Room I. His address will focus on the subject of “New Partnership for Africa’s Development: a new era for Africa in a globalizing world.”
Thabo Mbeki is, alongside Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo (Nigeria), Abdelaziz Bouteflika (Algeria), and President Abdoulaye Wade (Senegal), the initiator of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) initiative, which was launched in 2001 with the aim of narrowing the gap between Africa and the developed world and overcoming the marginalization of the continent in today’s globalized world.
President Mbeki was born on June 18, 1942 in the Transkei town of Idutywa. His father was Govan Mbeki, a founding member of the African National Congress (ANC) party, who spent 24 years in prison on Robben Island with Nelson Mandela.
Thabo Mbeki joined the ANC Youth League when he was 14. He left South Africa in 1962 and spent 28 years in exile. After studying economics at Sussex University (UK), he occupied several positions within the ANC during the 1970s, notably that of assistant secretary of the Revolutionary Council, and political secretary in the office of the President. From 1984 to 1989, he headed the ANC information department.
Back in South Africa, Thabo Mbeki served as Deputy President of the Republic (1994 to 1997), before his election as President 1999. He has headed the ANC since 1997.
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