Looking back to move forward: Elsie Kanza, Senior Director & Head of Africa, World Economic Forum

Elsie Kanza, Senior Director & Head of Africa, World Economic Forum

In 1992, one year after the end of the apartheid era in South Africa, the two leaders that would broker the country’s future trajectory appeared together at a forum in Switzerland.

It was the first time Nelson Mandela, then the leader of the anti-apartheid African National Conference (ANC) movement, and President F.W. de Klerk of South Africa appeared outside the country, side by side. The forum was the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in an appearance that was the product of months of diplomacy on the part of the organization’s founder, Klaus Schwab.

Mr Mandela and Mr de Klerk used the occasion to present a new vision for a unified South Africa to the world. Two years later, Mr Mandela would be South Africa’s first black president. It was the start of a new era, both for South Africa and for much of the region in which it would become an economic and political leader after years of sanctions and political isolation.

Read more: Looking back to move forward: An interview with Elsie Kanza, Head of Africa, World Economic Forum – Perspectives – This is Africa

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