Nelson Mandela brought peace to a divided nation. The work of development in South Africa and other countries in the region is an ongoing challenge, and Mandela believed that science and technology have a central role in that.
Apartheid did not just separate races. Probably the most destructive of its legacies was to restrict non-whites from getting technical training. What is more, this exclusion was not unique to South Africa but part of a wider political culture that defined Africa as a region with low levels of technological expertise.
Mandela understood that exclusion from education was a major limiting factor to development. He said education was “the most powerful weapon with which you can change the world”.
Mandela’s legacy includes the African Institutes of Science and Technology which bear his name. Four of these are planned, distributed across Sub-Saharan Africa, and two are already established, in Tanzania and Nigeria.