Thabo Mbeki
South Africa
President of the Republic of South Africa (1999-2008). An early political activist, he joined the African National Congress (ANC) Youth League in 1956 and was elected Secretary General of the African Students Association in 1961.

In 1969, the ANC sent Mr. Mbeki to the Soviet Union to study politics and military training. He joined the staff at the ANC Headquarters in Lusaka, Zambia, in 1971. Four years later, he was co-opted onto the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ANC. In 1985, Mr. Mbeki was elected to the NEC during the ANC Conference held in Kabwe, Zambia.

In 1994, Mr. Mbeki was appointed as the First Executive Deputy President of the Republic, serving under President Nelson Mandela. He was elected President of South Africa in 1999 and 2004 and served until he resigned in 2008.

In 2010 he established the Thabo Mbeki Foundation and the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute, both focused on the achievement of the goals of the African Renaissance.