South Africa's Goodwill Ambassador to Africa

In March 2001, South African President TM Mbeki announced the appointment of Ms Miriam Makeba as South Africa's first-ever Goodwill Ambassador to Africa. In making the appointment, the President recognised and honoured Ms Makeba's contribution over the decades in playing a lead role internationally in the struggle for the African People's freedom and emancipation from slavery, colonialism and apartheid, and the instilling of pride in African history, culture and civilisation.

The precedence setting appointment of a Goodwill Ambassador to Africa is a further expression of the importance that the President in particular, and the South African Government as a whole place on the realisation of the vision of a peaceful and secure African Continent which promotes democratic values and entrenches a culture of peaceful co-existence amongst the peoples of Africa. With the appointment of the Goodwill Ambassador, it is envisaged that she will use her Good Offices and extensive contacts across the continent to promote the vision of the African Renaissance by identifying appropriate and relevant projects around issues of peace, security, stability and human rights, particularly the rights of children and women.

In this regard various areas of social and economic development projects, in consultation with governmental and civil society institutions and structures, will be undertaken with the hope of addressing, amongst others, the social ills of poverty, HIV/AIDS, unemployment and gender discrimination with the view of impacting positively on the quality of life of the African peoples.

The Goodwill Ambassador to Africa will also concentrate her efforts on the empowerment of women and children through education, awareness programmes, people-to-people interaction, and exchange programmes to promote sustainable people-centred development.

The Goodwill Ambassador will direct her energies towards mobilising civil society and the Cultural Workers on the continent and elsewhere to join in the campaign to create conditions of peace, stability and security in Africa where all people are actively and constructively engaged in the quest to find ways of addressing the challenges confronting Africa.

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa