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Obama to speak at Mandela lecture

SPEAKERE: Barack Obama (Photo credit: PA)

FORMER AMERICAN President Barack Obama will deliver the annual Nelson Mandela lecture in Johannesburg, South Africa on July 17, to honour the centennial of the anti-apartheid icon's birth.

The news was announced by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, and chief executive, Sello Hatang, said the foundation had been looking for someone with "an Africa heritage" to deliver the address.

"We thought who can [better] represent the legacy of Madiba than the person who we believe took on the baton when he became president of his own country," Hatang said, referring to Mandela by his clan name.

According to BBC Africa, the lecture will focus on "creating conditions for bridging divides, working across ideological lines, and resisting oppression and inequality."

Hatang told AFP news agency that Mandela was "elated" when Obama was elected in 2008 "because he saw it as a moment in American history".

"We hope that it will again be a significant moment for the two legacies to join," he said.

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