Particularly so, because today 11 February also coincides with the release from prison of our former President, the international icon and statesman President Nelson Mandela after serving twenty-seven years behind bars. Although we laid to rest the mortal remains of former President Nelson Mandela last year in December, his spirit of resilience and reconciliation will forever be with us. His legacy of a free, united and developed Africa will continue to inspire us. We should continue to be inspired by his vision for peace and a prosperous Africa that is an equal partner in world affairs. As we pay tribute to him we also salute his spirit of African and international solidarity that he nurtured amongst us.
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