Item 1303 - Speech by President Nelson Mandela at a Luncheon with German Business and Investment Leaders

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ZA COM MR-S-1303


Speech by President Nelson Mandela at a Luncheon with German Business and Investment Leaders


  • 1996-05-23 (Creation)

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Transcription of speech made by Mr Mandela

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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Migrated from the Nelson Mandela Speeches Database (Sep-2018).

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Luncheon with German Business and Investment Leaders

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  • English

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Mr Chairman;
Minister Gunther Rexrodt;
Secretary-General of SADC;
Your Excellencies;
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Too meet with those who shape economic decisions in this, one of the world's leading economies, is a rare honour and a great privilege. When the occasion brings them together with people of influence in foreign policy, and the purpose is to expand links with Southern Africa, then it has the greatest importance for us. Thank you for the invitation and the opportunity to address you today.

My heartfelt appreciation at being with you is heightened by the fact that SADC member states and the SADC Secretariat itself are also represented. I am sure that I speak for us all when I say: thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your initiative to promote co-operation and to further prosperity in Southern Africa.

The establishment of democracy in South Africa, scarcely two years ago, opened a new era for Southern Africa, creating new possibilities and defining new challenges.

The countries of the region have been swift to use their freedom to concentrate on the needs of their peoples. The past two years have seen giant strides towards making a reality of the vision of our region as a powerful force for development and a favourable destination for investment.

Within SADC's strategy for development integration, a joint approach to regional infrastructure is already finding concrete implementation, in areas which include energy, water, transport and communications systems. A framework for co-operation in tourism is well-developed.

Similarly, the ultimate advantages of sharing a market of 120 million people or more will be reaped in a way that benefits all the people of the region. Sustained growth; balanced development; equity and mutual benefit are the watchwords guiding the region's approach. They also determine the pace at which we move towards our goals of economic integration and trade liberalisation.

But we have reached a point at which the emphasis must fall on the practical implementation of decisions for sustained growth and development.

The accomplishment of this task will require a deepening of the partnerships upon which it is premised: between Southern Africa and the international community, between governments and private sector.

For that reason, the Southern Africa Initiative, announced by Chancellor Kohl during his visit to South Africa and Namibia in 1995, is an idea whose time has come. I think that all of us from Southern Africa will join in applauding this most important development between Southern Africa and the German private sector.

It is timely both because it answers to the region's needs, and because the conditions for it to bring benefit to both Germany and Southern Africa are in place.

Foremost amongst these conditions we count political stability based on democratic governance and human rights; disciplined approaches to fiscal and monetary matters; far-reaching but achievable plans for reconstruction; and co-operation between governments in building an integrated regional economy.

The convergence of the countries of Southern Africa on such policies and the prospect for regional integration have taken us beyond having to argue for the region's investment potential. Investor interest is increasingly being translated into investor decisions.

South Africa is proud to be part of this historical endeavour. Our confidence in the region's future draws strength from our own achievements. In particular the maturing of our democracy, based on the universal norms of majority rule, testify to a deep and enduring consensus in our society, the bedrock of a stability beyond the capacity of any party or individual to deflect.

We are encouraged too by the judgement of confidence in us by those who shape long-term investment decisions, whether it be investors or the central institutions of the world's financial system.

We are encouraged by attitudes amongst German firms in South Africa, almost all of whom, according to a recent survey, regard the economic climate in a positive way, and by the fact that many of them have taken long-term decisions on investment projects. It were needed, these decisions provide the best judgement on prospects in South and Southern Africa.

We are encouraged by these facts even as we have to contend with the consequences of those making more short-term judgements, focused on the more ephemeral events of the day rather than the fundamentals. We therefore strongly welcome the concern of your initiative with improving the presentation and image of our region and continent in the media. Media perceptions based on the facts of today, rather than the international order of past centuries, will be to the benefit of the countries of Southern Africa and their peoples, as well as to Germany and its investors.

Chairman, distinguished guests,

South Africa and Southern Africa look forward to the constructive implementation of this German business initiative. New investment, especially in forms that enhance the human resources of our region through the transfer of technology, new work-practices and entrepreneurial skills, will not only bring a good profit to the investor and growth to our region. They will help us to help ourselves.

Successful business development in Southern Africa will strengthen our progress towards a powerful economic bloc that will be able to play its part in the rebirth of Africa.

The opportunities are immense. Now is the time for bold decisions.

I thank you.



Found speech also on GCIS website

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Acquisition method: From hard drive ; Source: ANC Archives, Office of the ANC President, Nelson Mandela Papers, University of Fort Hare. Accessioned on 26/01/2010 by Zintle Bambata




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