President Ramaphosa receives Honorary Doctorate

Johannesburg – President Cyril Ramaphosa’s vision of walking in his mentor’s shoes was realised on Monday when he received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Cheikh Anta Diop, during an event held at the university in Dakar, Senegal.

This is the same university that honoured South Africa’s founding President, Tata Nelson Mandela, with an honorary doctorate in 1992.

Giving his remarks after receiving a Doctor Honoris Causa (Honorary Doctorate), President Ramaphosa expressed how grateful he was to receive the honour from the same university that once honoured his mentor.

“In the course of my career, I have received a number of honorary doctorates. I can say with utmost conviction that this one from Cheik Anta Diop University gives me the greatest honour of all,” he said.

The President said in less than a week from now, South Africa will be celebrating 25 years since President Mandela signed the Constitution into law in Sharpeville.

He explained how he vividly remembers that day in Sharpeville where the apartheid regime killed more than 70 innocent people and how it was decided that this would be the place where the Constitution is signed.

“Indeed I remember that day because after he signed the Constitution, we held that Constitution and said that was the next certificate of a democratic South Africa.

“We have made good on the promise that he made here. South Africa is a vastly different place than it was in 1992. South Africa has changed for the better. Our society is rooted in human rights and fundamental freedoms,” he said on Monday.

President Ramaphosa will conclude his visit in Senegal when he meets with his Counterpart President Macky Sall for bilateral discussions and the signing of a memorandum of agreement on political and diplomatic consultations between the two countries.

The President will also visit Gorée Island, which is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Heritage site.  It is estimated that millions of Africans passed through the Island from the 1500s to mid-1800s en route to slavery in other parts of the world.

This marks the end of President Ramaphosa’s four-nation visit to West Africa, which has included the Republics of Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, and Ghana.


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