Item 352 - Speech by President Nelson Mandela to the business community of Mali

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Speech by President Nelson Mandela to the business community of Mali


  • 1996-03-03 (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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  • English

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Honoured Guest;
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great honour to be in Bamako as your guest, I thank you sincerely for the very warm welcome you have extended to me.

It is a privilege to be among the members of the business community of Mali. It symbolises the new era in which we now live: one of co-operation between two great Africa nations. Above all I welcome the opportunity to share ideas with you on how we can expand economic links between our countries in order to benefit our peoples.

We are able to discuss these matters because our South Africa has freed itself from apartheid, with the support of the people of Mali. We can now together, and in co-operation with the rest of Africa, face the challenges of Africa's renewal through development.

The entrepreneurs and traders of Africa should be in the forefront of our continent's regeneration, for the well-being of our continent is directly linked to its economic development. For this reason the South African Government is committed to working for the rapid promotion of economic ties with its fellow African States. It seeks to do so within a framework which both rewards enterprise and promotes balanced economic development. South Africa sees its destiny as inextricably linked to that of the continent.

A significant dividend resulting from South Africa's transition to democracy has been the normalisation of our relations with the countries of Africa. In the case of Mali this has already meant the establishment of full diplomatic relations, a doubling of bilateral trade and the initiation of major South African investment projects in Mali.

We hope that the business people of Mali will take advantage of the accessibility of the South African Trade Counsellor in Abidjan who frequently visits Bamako, to identify further opportunities for trade with South Africa.

We are also confident that the conclusion of an Agreement for the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of investment between Mali and South Africa will strengthen confidence in our economic links

We take pride in the fact that South Africa's presence in Mali also symbolised by gold. The Anglo-American Corporation's extensive involvement in the development of the Sadiola Hill Gold Mine will bring benefits to the peoples of both Mali and South Africa.

We encourage South African enterprise to participate in construction and development projects in other African countries, where this is done in such a way that it s also assists those countries efforts to achieve sustained development. For South Africa the Sadiola project creates trade and employment opportunities. For Mali it should bring not only jobs and exports, but also a transfer of South African mining technology and skills which will permanently increase the capacity of Malians to contribute to the wealth of the nation.

This is a particularly opportune moment for Mali's businessmen and entrepreneurs to engage their counterparts in South Africa.

The policies adopted by our government in order to create a climate for growth are beginning to bear fruit. The South African economy is healthier than it has been in many decades. The rekindling of business confidence and optimism reflect the solid foundation on which the economic upswing is based. Expansion of the manufacturing sector, substantial growth in fixed investments and large inflows of capital promise a durable recovery. They hold out the possibility of an even better performance.

Welcome as this development is, we are determined to achieve still higher levels of growth. For, we need to so if we are to make a significant impact on employment and produce more resources to uplift the living conditions of our people. To this end government has been galvanised with the challenge of formulating medium term strategy for sustained development and growth to lift us beyond our present constraints, some of which we share with most of Africa.

Amongst other things such a strategy would include expanded trade and investment relations with African countries and a resolute pursuit of regional co-operation and development integration.

It would include measures to promote investment in particular sector and areas. Investment that entrance foreign exchange earnings, build infrastructure and make our people more productive would have high priority.

To achieve these objectives on a regional and continental scale will call for a concerned pursuit of unity and co-operation. That will also give our regions and our continent a more powerful voice in the world markets than any nation would have on its own.

The challenges facing our countries in transition and the whole of Africa is magnified by the fact that we live in a time when the advanced industrial countries are consolidating themselves into powerful economic and political blocs to strengthen their bargaining positions in world markets.

South Africa is particularly sensitive to this at the moment as we seek to establish a new framework of agreement within which our trade relations with the European Union could be conducted on an equitable and mutually advantageous basis.

South Africa is also working with its Southern African partners to engage the industrial world in development of the region, and further afield on the continent. The increased levels of foreign interest in Southern Africa as a destination for investment reflect the passive potential or our region for sustained economic growth and development. Democratic systems of governance, a commitment to the peaceful resolution of conflict, disciplined use of public resources together with ambitious programmes of reconstruction are the key ingredients which are attracting this interest.

Ladies and gentlemen;

South African business, now freed from the narrow confines created by apartheid, are eagerly looking to Africa, including Mali, for opportunities for trade and investment. There is every reason why you, the economic actors of Mali, l should visit South Africa and see for yourselves the many opportunities for doing business.

It would also be an opportunity to experience South African hospitality, which we enjoy extending to fellow Africans who come to see our own beautiful country.

May our partnership prosper to the benefit of our countries and the people of Africa!

I thank you.

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Acquisition method: From website ; Source: ANC Website. Accessioned on 21/11/06 by Helen Joannides




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