Speaking at the launch of the Thabo Mbeki Foundation in Sandton last night, Mbeki said by working together Africans had the potential of turning the 21st century into an African century.
“… We must do everything we can to contribute to the realisation of the dream of the African masses that everything would be done, with them acting as makers rather than objects of history, to achieve the renaissance of Africa, and thus make the 21st an African century.
“This is the central task of the foundation we launch today. I trust that all of us have convened here today, at this dinner, because together we want to make the statement that we will work as one to realise the historic aspirations of the peoples of Africa.”
Mbeki said through his interactions with other Africans during his years of exile and as an African leader, he had learnt that “as Africans we are blessed that we have the native intellectual capacity to elaborate solutions to our own problems”.
Mbeki has launched the foundation as part of his drive to prioritise the projects he started while still in office – this included promoting African leadership and good governance as part of the African Renaissance.
With him and his wife as trustees, the foundation is aimed at, among other things, eradicating poverty, promoting gender equality and fighting underdevelopment in Africa.
As part of the launch yesterday, there was a panel discussion led by luminaries including former presidents John Kufuor of Ghana and Joachim Chissano ofMozambique.
Today, Mbeki will launch the Thabo Mbeki Leadership Institute, a joint venture between the University of South Africa and the foundation.