This lecture, a short excerpt of which appears below, was delivered by H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn on the occasion of the 10th Thabo Mbeki Africa Day Lecture at the University of South Africa, Tshwane, on 24 May 2019. It is featured on the Thabo Mbeki Foundation website.
Excellency and Dear brother President Thabo Mbeki,
Beloved Sister Zanele Mbeki,
I am truly excited to speak to distinguished scholars, politicians, diplomats, civil society groups and above all to our student community on Africa’s burning topic – National Question and its implication on Peace and Democracy. I am honored to be part of the 10th year celebration of the Thabo Mbeki Annual Africa Day Lecture Series.
President Mbeki, congratulations! Thank you for bringing this family together once again. You are an inspiration.
Nothing gives me more pleasure than to be here with you today. Those of you who follow Ethiopian politics would know that with the launching of sweeping reform in my own country and the challenges ahead, this is not an invitation I take lightly.
If we need to get out of the nationalist tensions that most of us find ourselves in today, we need to think at Africa level. Not at ethnic level. Not at regional level. Not even at federal or national level. But at Africa level.