Barack Obama to deliver speech at annual lecture to mark Mandela Centenary Celebration


Banners bearing the late icon Nelson Mandela’s face have lined the cordoned off roads leading to Bidvest Wanderers Stadium, where former President of the United States Barack Obama will deliver the 16th Annual Nelson Mandela Lecture.

The lecture, which invites prominent people to drive debate on significant social issues, is an important event on the Foundation’s calendar.

It encourages people to enter into dialogue often about difficult subjects in order to address the challenges faced in society today.

This year, the 44th US President will deliver the lecture to an estimated 14 500 people that are expected to attend the much awaited event.

Obama will deliver the lecture on Tuesday, 17 July — the eve of what would have been Mandela’s 100th birthday had he lived.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation said it chose Obama to deliver the lecture because he has a global voice and not afraid to take a tough stance on social issues.

“Madiba’s 100th year comes only once and it’s important for us to look at people who are inspired by his legacy personally but also who have modelled their own leadership after Madiba, so Obama is that kind of person.

“We also looked for a person who can spread that message globally, who has a global platform and voice, who can raise the questions that are uncomfortable that we would like people to engage with.

“One of the issues we are dealing with is captured democracies — democracies that don’t work for people, who are in countries that are under developed,” said the foundation’s Director Luzuko Koti at a logistic media briefing on Monday afternoon.

Previous speakers of the lecture include Nobel laureate Prof Wangari Maathai, Former President Thabo Mbeki, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and Bill Gates.

Among the high ranking dignitaries expected to lend an ear to the first Black US President are former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the President of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Masisi.

Members of the public can watch YouTube live stream from 14:00 CAT:


About Author

Thabo Mphahlele is the BizNis Africa Head of Sales and Marketing. Mphahlele was previously MultiChoice Production Support Analyst responsible for developing and monitoring applications. In addition, Mphahlele develops and automates batch scripts and is responsible for the daily infrastructure maintenance at MultiChoice. As a Production Support Analyst, he is responsible for incident analysis solving , developing and constructing business reports for SQL and Oracle and implement change controls for the business. Additional responsibility includes monitoring system performance via SOA, Kibaba (Elasticsearch), H.P BSM, HP Sitescope. Mphahlele is responsible for creating infrastructure performance reports through HP Ops Analytics, monitoring payments via Splunk and in-house built-in tool and disaster recovery simulation and testing. At Nashua Mobile, he was responsible for application development and enhancing the web sites At South West Gauteng College, he was the IT Technician and Network Administrator. During his tenure at Double Digit Media, he was he focused on application and web site development for new and existing clients Mphahlele contributes as a Content Manager for BizNis Africa.

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