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Africa needs more Nelson Mandelas

Jul 20, 2012, 1:01 PM

Annually, people within Africa and beyond celebrate Nelson Mandela ‘s achievements in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom.

Nelson Mandela’s values and his dedication to the service of humanity, in the fields of conflict resolution, race relations, the promotion and protection of human rights, reconciliation, gender equality and the rights of children and other vulnerable groups, as well as the upliftment of poor and underdeveloped communities were well-noticed.

As a result of this, the United Nations General Assembly acknowledged his contribution to the struggle for democracy, and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world.

For 67 years Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity — as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically-elected president of a free South Africa.

If Africa could have more Nelson Mandelas this would be a great boost for a continent that is still struggling with human rights violations, disregard for rule of law and, above all, conflicts and poverty.

As Mandela celebrates his 94th birthday, which also coincides with Nelson Mandela International Day, we pray for his long life and good health, while calling for African leaders to emulate and learn from him, so that we can have more Madibas as he is fondly called.

In South Africa, despite their differences, a nation of  black and white, rich and poor, came together  to honour Nelson Mandela, the deeply loved statesman, for the role he played in their liberation.