Item 407 - Speech by President Nelson Mandela at the State banquet in honour of President Abdou Diouf of Senegal

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Speech by President Nelson Mandela at the State banquet in honour of President Abdou Diouf of Senegal


  • 1996-07-30 (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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ANC Website

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State banquet in honour of President Abdou Diouf of Senegal

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  • English

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Paragraph beginning: "For that invaluable contribution to the liberation of our people, and for the years of staunch support by the government and people of Senegal, I thank you on behalf of our Rainbow Nation."
Changes made: "Rainbow Nation" changed to "rainbow nation"



Excellency President Diouf and Mrs Diouf;
Distinguished Guest;

Ladies and gentlemen,

We are greatly honoured to host you, Mr. President, and your distinguished delegation. We hope that your short stay in our country will be pleasant as well as fruitful.

Here in South Africa your name is held in high esteem, as is that of Senegal. We regard you as a great statesman, true African, peacemaker and role model. Your presidency has been dedicated to the ideals of peace-making and conflict resolution on the African continent and you have tirelessly sought to reserve for our continent an honoured place in the councils of the world.

Senegal hosted the historic meeting between the ANC and a group of Afrikaans-speaking patriots who defied the apartheid regime in order to declare their allegiance to democracy and non-racialism. You did that because you regarded the fight against apartheid as the greatest task that faced mankind since Nazism. That a meeting helped our country along the path of a negotiated settlement. The seeds sown in Dakar in 1987 are flourishing today in democratic South Africa.

For that invaluable contribution to the liberation of our people, and for the years of staunch support by the government and people of Senegal, I thank you on behalf of our rainbow nation.

We meet today as free men and women. With colonialism and apartheid behind us, we can at last address the task of improving the lives of our peoples.

We do not underestimate the scale of the challenge we face or its difficulty. But South Africa is proud of the progress it has made in building a united nation and establishing a framework for sustained economic growth.

Central to our strategy for reconstruction and development is the strengthening of economic ties with other African countries. We were therefore happy to learn that South African companies are among those issued with mining licences in Senegal. We will continue to encourage our business community to invest in Africa. And as we expect of foreign investors in our own country, we expect South African business to ensure that its investments in Senegal bring lasting benefits through the transfer of skills and technology. The progress towards an Agreement for the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of investments bodes well for the expansion of such links.

I am confident that the discussions between your delegation and our government and private sector will help sustain the economic interaction between our economies that has grown with South Africa's transition to democracy.

Our government has set a target of six per cent growth by the turn of the century. But this process will only be meaningful if our partners, like Senegal, also experience growth as well. I urge entrepreneurs and traders from our two countries to stand in the forefront of this reconstruction process.

The irony is that despite our brave efforts, our continent continues to bleed from the wounds inflicted by foreign debt. I therefore associate myself with your call, Mr. President, for the international community to substantially reduce or write off a considerable part of Africa's foreign debt.

Impressive as statistics of recent African economic growth may appear, more is needed if the current upswing is to lead to sustained development. And for that to be achieved, our continent needs higher levels of economic co-operation. The economic and fiscal integration programmes being pursued by West African states provide an encouragement for similar moves within Southern Africa.

For our renewal to be sustained, Africa needs peace and stability. On this occasion we would like to express our concern about the situation in Burundi. South Africa is committed to working together with the continent to find a solution, and we wish tomorrow's East African Heads of State meeting well as they address the situation.

South Africa is indeed honoured to count President Abdou Diouf among its friends. For what you have selflessly done for our country, our continent, and mankind in general you richly deserve Africa's recognition and respect. When Africa is one day transformed into a zone of peace and prosperity, it will be thanks to efforts of peace warriors like President Diouf.

Mr. President,

Ladies and gentlemen;

My I now ask you to raise your glasses and toast to the long and peaceful life of President Abdou Diouf; and to the flourishing of warm relations between the peoples of Senegal and South Africa.

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Acquisition method: From website ; Source: ANC Website. Accessioned on 22/11/06 by Helen Joannides




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