Nelson Mandela Foundation

The Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture Dialogue Series is a unique platform to drive debate on significant social issues. The Series is an important event on the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory's calendar and encourages publics, both local and international, to enter into dialogue – often about difficult subjects – in order to address the challenges we face today and remain relevant.

Please find the schedule of events with details below.

For the Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture, the Centre has had the privilege of hosting global thought leaders and change-makers, including Presidents Bill Clinton and Thabo Mbeki; Nobel Laureates Kofi Annan, the late Wangari Maathai, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Desmond Tutu and Mohammad Yunus; Professors  Ariel Dorfman and Ismail Serageldin; and former Irish president and human rights activist Mary Robinson.

Revered businessman, academic, global philanthropist, and Founder and Chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Dr Mo Ibrahim, will deliver the 11th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture address, which will focus on building social cohesion.

Significantly, the venue for the 11th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture is the University of South Africa (UNISA), which this year celebrates its 140th birthday.

Mr Mandela spent much of his 27 years in prison studying law with UNISA and on 17 May 1989, while he was incarcerated at Victor Verster Prison, he graduated in absentia with an LLB from this institution.

UNISA provides an apt platform for this year’s lecture, as Africa’s leading distance-learning institution nurtures inspiring leaders of tomorrow.

For accreditation across all events, please RSVP to Lee Davies on

Please note

  • A clean feed will be provided by SABC for the event – please indicate if you wish us to make provisions accordingly
  • Please indicate if you wish us to make provision for audio plug-ins in terms of radio broadcasts
  • A designated media room is available with wi-fi, laptops, screen feeds, mobile chargers, etc.

Schedule of events