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Last updateWed, 23 Apr 2014 1pm

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Carlos Lopes hails Nelson Mandela’s inspiring leadership

The Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Mr. Carlos Lopes,  has described the late Nelson Mandela, as  “an inspiring leader, without whom the narrative of a new Africa would not be possible.”

 

“My feelings about Mandela are profound - I often go back to His biography, A long walk to freedom, for inspiration,”  Mr. Lopes said, joining the world in mourning the departure of a global icon.  

The Executive Secretary said that what stood out for him in reading the biography was  “the combination of opposites in his leadership style: determination against the enemy but capacity to be tolerant on the human side; ideology and pragmatism; fight to get to power but relinquishing it as soon as he gets it; respect for tradition and embracing youth behaviour, icons and role models.” 

“So many of these have been mastered beautifully.. Unique indeed!” added Mr. Lopes. 

He quoted from a moving passage in ‘A long walk to freedom’,“I have walked the long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter: I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb," he said. 

"I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.” 

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