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Obama gives annual lecture as South Africa prepares to celebrate Mandela centenary

By: stagedoorscribbler - July 16, 2018

Nelson Mandela

Archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu will join global leaders and heads of state at the Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in Johannesburg tomorrow.

The event is being held just one day ahead of Nelson Mandela International Day 2018, marking 100 years since Mendela’s birth on 18 July 1918.

The Centenary is being seen as an occasion to reflect on the life and legacy of the great anti-apartheid and social justice campaigner. A chance to follow his call to “make of the world a better place.” The Nelson Mandela Foundation is dedicating this year's Mandela Day to Action Against Poverty, honouring Mandela's leadership and devotion to fighting poverty and promoting social justice for all.

The annual lecture meanwhile will be delivered by former US President Barack Obama. Those attending will include  The Elders – a group of public figures and former heads of state brought together in 2007

In addition to  86-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu, key attendees include United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon‚ Indian activist Ela Bhatt‚ former World Health Organisation director-general Gro Harlem Brundtland and Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former US president Jimmy Carter.

Mandela’s widow, Graca Machel‚ an international activist for women’s and children’s rights‚ will also be attending. Others expected at the event are Cape Verde president Jorge Carlos de Almeida Fonseca and Botswana president Mokgweetsi Masisi, former Brazilian president Fernando Cardoso‚ former Chilean president Ricardo Lagos and former Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo.

*Meanwhile Mandela Day 2018 will find  Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation staff and participants in its Youth@work programme conducting a work exchange with cleaning staff at Red Cross Children’s Hospital.

They will facilitate fun days for the children at Nazareth House and SOS Children’s Village; and feed members of the homeless community on the Grand Parade in Cape Town.