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About The Mandela Institute

South Africa’s transition to democracy is regarded throughout the world as a remarkable triumph. Nelson Mandela, who played a pivotal leadership role in securing a peaceful and orderly political settlement, has lent his name, prestige and global credibility to The Mandela Institute.

> Click here to read a message from Nelson Mandela

Founded as part of the University of the Witwatersrand (one of South Africa’s most prestigious institutions of higher learning), The Mandela Institute aims to encourage and promote "capacity building" in developing countries through intensive training in trade negotiation and international commercial law.

"An alumnus of Wits Law School, Mr. Mandela gave his name to the Institute because it is devoted to the advanced teaching of those aspects of the law that will ensure economic growth for South Africa and other developing countries," according to the Mandela Institute’s director, Professor David Unterhalter.

The Mandela Institute will undertake research, develop policy recommendations and offer advanced teaching in global commercial law, including areas such as trade policy, intellectual property, competition policy, telecommunications, banking and company law.

For developing countries, the trend in recent years toward democratization and economic liberalization has been accompanied by an expanding number of international trade and investment commitments. This meaningful participation in the agenda of the World Trade Organization is now linked to Capacity Building, for without skilled policy makers and trade negotiators, developing nations will be unable to benefit fully from engagement in the global economy. Industrialized countries will also suffer negative consequences as will businesses who have invested so much in market-opening measures and liberalization.

In the light of these imperatives, the Mandela Institute will provide the tools and training to help poorer countries engage successfully in the modern global economy, and will honor the contributions of Nelson Mandela to the transformation of South Africa and to Africa’s future.