Obama will give speech in South Africa to commemorate Nelson Mandela's legacy

Written by on July 17, 2018

Media24/Gallo Images/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Former President Barack Obama is scheduled to deliver a speech on Tuesday to commemorate the late Nelson Mandela, Obama’s first visit to Africa since leaving office.

Mandela is known for being “the epitome of civil action” after he was imprisoned for 27 years for attempting to end apartheid in Africa, a system of institutionalized segregation that existed in South Africa for years.

The global icon died in 2013 and his legacy as the first black president of South Africa and years of activism will be celebrated with the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture. This year’s theme is titled “Renewing the Mandela Legacy & Promoting Active Citizenship in a Changing World,” more than 4,000 people are expected to attend.

The speech falls on the day before Mandela’s 100th birthday and is part of the series of events the Nelson Mandela Foundation has planned for the milestone.

Obama is expected to deliver a message of “creating conditions for bridging divides, working across ideological lines, and resisting oppression and inequality” the Nelson Mandela Foundation wrote in a statement. Obama will be the second U.S. president to deliver the lecture. Bill Clinton spoke in 2013.

Before Obama delivers his speech on Tuesday, the former president made a stop in Kenya on Monday to assist in the grand opening of a sports and fitness center. Founded by Obama’s half-sister Auma Obama, the facility is in the city of Kogelo, the birthplace of their father.

Since parting office in 2017, Obama has spent his time delivering speeches, meeting with potential 2020 presidential candidates and spending a substantial amount of time on his foundation based in Chicago. Obama’s speech in Johannesburg is considered one of the most high-profile appearances the president will attend since his presidency.

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