The World Needs More de Klerks

This is part of a series of blog posts written by the 2011 Peace Scholars, as they complete their summer program in Oslo, Norway. This post was written by Thato Masire, a Peace Scholar from Luther College.

It was with great delight that I learned that former South African president and 1993 Nobel Laureate, F.W de Klerk, accepted an invitation to deliver the keynote address at the next Nobel Peace Prize Forum, which is scheduled for March 2012.

F.W De Klerk is best known for paving way for a new South Africa. He ushered South African from apartheid towards to a multi-racial democracy. Shortly after assuming leadership of the pro-apartheid ruling party, de Klerk called for non-racist South Africa, lifted the ban on the African National Congress (ANC) and released Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners.

De Klerk is the epitome of change in both words and deeds. He challenged the status quo and brought about change. His mission of changing apartheid South Africa was not easy. It required him to be bold and somewhat a radical. He is a rare breed of a leader.

The world is in dire need for leaders who like de Klerk, will challenge the existing state of affairs in their respective countries or communities, and bring about some transformations.

I look forward to hearing de Klerk speak at the next forum. I am confident that his address will inform, and also inspire aspiring and current leaders into action.

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