Ramaphosa to lead naming of Nouakchott street after Mandela

A street in the Mauritania capital Nouakchott will be named after the late Nelson Mandela.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS.

PRETORIA - President Cyril Ramaphosa will today preside over a ceremony naming a street in the Mauritania capital Nouakchott after the late Nelson Mandela.

Human rights activists are asking whether the poorly attended gathering of continental leaders will address the elephant in the host nation’s room.

Only 22 of the 54 Africa leaders are attending the summit in Nouakchott.

President Ramaphosa stayed on message when he spoke about fighting corruption in Africa.

But Mauritania was the last country to abolish slavery.

A rights group reported last month that 18% of its population still lives in bondage.

It remains to be seen what the final communique of the 31st AU summit has to say about this.

Meanwhile, Ramaphosa has told leaders at the African Union summit that government and ordinary citizens should stand together against corruption.

He said the money lost due to corruption on the continent could be used to finance improvements to people’s lives.

Ramaphosa used his first speech at an open plenary at the summit to bemoan state capture and graft in South Africa and on the continent.

At a debate on fighting corruption, which marked the AU’s theme of the year, Ramaphosa said the scourge destroyed lives.

“Corruption affects every area of life. As countries, we need to consistently strive to eradicate this obstacle to our development," he said.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who championed the theme, said corruption always found ways to fight back.

The summit is set to close today.