South Africa’s top trade negotiator Professor Faizel Ismail has been named director designate of the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance.
Ismail will take up his position at the school in July on the back of a glittering career negotiating major agreements for South Africa, including with the Southern African Customs Union, as well as the Trade and Development Agreement with the European Union. He also spent 10 years as ambassador to the World Trade Organisation and as a senior adviser to the Minister of Trade and Industry.
He takes over from Professor Alan Hirsch, and the two will spend several months together to ensure a smooth transition ahead of the official handover in July.
Ismail said he viewed his new appointment as an opportunity to contribute to rebuilding the institutions of the democratic state and the capacity of the next generation of policymakers, based on the values of late President Nelson Mandela.
Hailing Hirsch and his directorship, Ismail said the Mandela School has developed a global reputation for engaged, exciting scholarship that “gets to grips with African governance and leadership issues as lived and experienced”.
“I will be building on this solid foundation,” he said.
The school has trained 1 400 students from across Africa in leadership and academic programmes since its establishment in 2011. It combines academic insight with practice-based public service to promote strategic public leadership in Africa.
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