TMALI owes its origin to discussions which took place between the then President Thabo Mbeki and many of his peers about what he would do once he had completed his term as President of South Africa. These discussions generated the view that over the decades Africa had, through the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and the African Union (AU), agreed on a broad range of appropriate policies for the development and renewal of the continent, including such areas as politics, human and people’s rights, the economy, social development, women’s emancipation and development, human resource development, war, peace and security, cultural development, the role of the media, international relations, peer review, and so on.
However, the observation was made that there was an obvious and destructive lag between the adoption and the implementation of these policies. This was because Africa had not developed the critical number of change agents who would act in each of our countries to help ensure the implementation of the agreed policies. It was therefore agreed that the strategic deficit Africa faces is the insufficiency of the human capital it needs to realise its historic objective to achieve its renewal. President Thabo Mbeki agreed that he would make the necessary effort to help address the strategic African human capital deficit and TMALI was established to respond to this commitment.
TMALI was formally launched in 2010 as a partnership between the University of South Africa (Unisa) and the Thabo Mbeki Foundation (TMF). It is based at Unisa, Vista Building, 263 Skinner Street, Tshwane/Pretoria, South Africa. The distinguished young scholar, Dr Maureen Tong, was appointed on 1 July 2009 to attend to the establishment of TMALI, and serves as the Acting Head of the Institute. The relationship between Unisa and the TMF is regulated by a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed by the two parties on 28 January 2010 to formally establish TMALI. This was preceded by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Unisa and the TMF on 12 October 2009. A TMALI Management Committee, comprising three members each from Unisa and the TMF, was inaugurated on 12 February 2010. The primary task of the committee is to provide strategic direction to TMALI. An International Advisory Panel (IAP) will be established to provide further guidance regarding the content of the work and programmes of TMALI and act as "ambassadors" for the Institute. It will consist of highly respected personalities from within the continent, including the African Diaspora, and beyond.
Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute