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In addition to the huge personal sacrifices he made in fighting Apartheid, Nelson Mandela was an inspiration to and strong supporter of civil society. Under Mandela’s presidency, the foundations for an enabling environment for civil society in South Africa were laid, something which inspired similarly progressive laws and policies around the world.
A small testament to the esteem in which he is held by CIVICUS, is evidenced through the organisations’ establishment, in 2004, of the Nelson Mandela-Graca Machel Innovation Awards — aimed at encouraging grassroots citizen action.
“We are grateful to Nelson Mandela for lending his name to the awards and to honour his memory we will work even harder to strengthen citizen action and civil society around the world.”
“We hope that his legacy will continue to inspire millions of people across the globe to continue to confront the challenges facing humanity. For us, he will remain a face of and inspiration for citizen struggle — forever,” says the CIVICUS Secretary-General.
Notes to editors:
CIVICUS was founded in 1993 and is dedicated to strengthening citizen action and civil society throughout the world, especially in areas where participatory democracy and citizens’ freedom of association are challenged.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Zubair Sayed, Head of Communication, CIVICUS
Tel: +27 11 833 5959 (extension 140)
Mobile: +27 72 456 3036
In 2012, CIVICUS tracked threats to civil society in over 75 countries. For more information on the enabling environment for civil society, read CIVICUS’ State of Civil Society Report 2013.