The Amani team were privileged enough to receive a talk from Ambassador Mosholi. This freedom fighter, exilee, diplomat, and mother shared her lifetime of wisdom as well as her musings on the current state of South Africa, pan-Africanism, and the global political sphere in which she operates.
Exiled in 1976, Naomi Ribbon Mosholi, received her intelligence and military training in the Soviet Union. Post liberation she found herself working in the democratically elected South African Government. Playing her part in South Africa’s re-introduction to the world, she received a diplomatic posting in Germany. Ambassador Mosholi had unique perspective to offer us based on her experience working in the South African embassy and being a United Nations observer in New York during exile.
From the outside looking in it seems as though the concept of democracy has failed many Africans, in fact many African countries post-liberation have seen their democratic systems failing the people. Unable to deliver on election promises and campaigning tickets, with some even descending into authoritarianism. Built around a cult of personality rather than on the needs of the people.
There is always talk of how to integrate Africa into the world stage. While this is obviously important in the globalised world and needs to be discussed, perhaps a more internally focused discussion has to be had first. The continent is very quick to search for outside solutions to local problems, taking loans from Western-orientated global funds, bringing in foreign experts to solve issues of statecraft and infrastructure, exporting our raw minerals only to have them sold back to us post-processing. The list goes on, but action has been slow or non-existent.
Both China and India understood that in order to serve their people and safeguard their country’s best interests they were on their own solutions had to be home-grown and come from within. These countries are by no means perfect but neither are most of the other countries on that top 10 list. The point I wish to make here is that rather than aspiring to be the next India, China or United States- African countries need to aspire to draft plans and strategies that address the needs of Africans.
We certainly had plenty to think about! On behalf of the Amani Team, we wish to say thank you to Ambassador Mosholi for what was an inspiring morning. We would love to hear your thoughts on the topic- What do you think is next for South Africa and the continent?