It may be recalled Former President Sirleaf delivered the Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in Johannesburg in 2008.
"Should we understand the last 25 years of global integration as nothing more than a detour from the previous inevitable cycle of history where might makes right and politics is a hostile competition between tribes and races, where nations compete in a zero-sum game constantly teetering on the edge of conflict until full-blown war breaks out?"
"It should make us hopeful‚ but if we can't deny the real strides our world has made since that moment when Madiba took steps out of confinement‚ we have to recognise ways in which the worldwide order has fallen short of its promises".
"If we have African leaders, governments and institutions which are creating a platform for success and opportunity, then you will increasingly get more talent wanting to stay", Obama said.
Obama said that worldwide progress is "threatened by the rise of nationalism", but told the crowd that the world has been through "darker times". "The previous structures of injustice and exploitation never really went away", he said. I believe in Nelson Mandela's vision, I believe in a vision shared by Ghandhi and King. He also said, to applause, that the USA invasion of Iraq "didn't help, accelerating a sectarian conflict".
He lamented the rise of populist movements that are being funded "by right-wing billionaires intent on reducing governmental constraints on their business interests".
He decried the brand of Trump's politics that has overtaken much of the Republican party, including "far-right protectionism and closed borders, but also on barely hidden racial nationalism". And yes, democracy can be messy, and it can be slow, and it can be frustrating.
"Who needs free speech as long as the economy is going good?" he said, in the speech lasting nearly 90 minutes.
As Trump once again took to Twitter on Monday to denounce "fake news", a phrase he employs in response to negative coverage of his actions or rhetoric, Obama noted how "the free press is under attack".
"Social media [as it is] now being used spread hatred, paranoia and conspiracy theories instead of knowledge, ideas and cultural linkages", he said.
Notably, former US President Barack Obama has led the way in paying homage to Mandela, giving a high-profile speech in South Africa to honor his legacy.
There was no choice but "to move forward", he said. "For love comes more naturally to the human heart". The denial of facts could be the "undoing" of democracy, he cautioned.
"You have to believe in facts ..."
Obama, drawing on Mandela's own remarks, counseled against discrimination of any kind.
"Yah, Obama is on point", he said.
I feel like when people are seeking relevance or can not deal with their own shortcomings, they take a shot at him because he is no longer there to defend himself.
"The Mercedes-Benz SA team made more than a vehicle for Madiba - they made a symbol of pride and togetherness", says a Mercedes-Benz SA spokesman. "We can enforce the law while respecting the essential humanity of those expecting a better life".
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