Nelson Mandela Foundation

The 2017 Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture was delivered by the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Amina J Mohammed, in Cape Town on 25 November 2017.

The Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture is one of the Foundation’s flagship programmes to honour its founder, Nelson Mandela. Every year since 2003, global leaders have used the lecture to raise topical issues affecting South Africa, Africa and the rest of the world.

Mohammed addressed the theme “Centering gender: reducing inequality through inclusion”.

In 1994, at the opening of South Africa’s first post-apartheid Parliament, Mandela said freedom “cannot be achieved until women have been emancipated from all forms of oppression”.

In 1995, Mandela’s government ratified the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and also introduced free care for mothers before and after giving birth.

Mohammed was appointed UN Deputy Secretary-General on 1 January 2017. Previously, as special adviser to former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Mohammed was instrumental in the UN’s setting of its Sustainable Development Goals. This set of 17 goals, aimed at ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring global peace and prosperity by 2030, was unanimously adopted by 193 UN member states on 25 September 2015.

The 15th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture was held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.