This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the founding of the IJR in 2000. The foundational aim of the Institute was to ensure that the lessons learned from South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy, and through the Truth and Reconciliation process, were adequately recorded, analysed and taken forward. Today the Institute, throughout Africa, works towards the building of fair, democratic and inclusive societies after conflict. A series of events have been planned to take place over the course of the year to mark this anniversary, assess and evaluate the Institute’s work, and to plan for the future. Nominations are currently open for the IJR’s 2009 Reconciliation Award.
Transformation Audit launch
In February, the IJR launched its annual Transformation Audit report at the Nelson Mandela Gateway in Cape Town. Titled Recession and Recovery, the Audit tracks progress in South Africa’s transformation process, with a focus in 2009 on the effects of the global economic recession. The Audit contains a collection of articles, high-quality data and economic scorecards contributed by established academics and opinion leaders, in the areas of governance and the economy, the labour market, education and skills development, and poverty and inequality. Lumkile Mondi, chief economist and executive vice-president of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), and who contributed an article on black economic empowerment (BEE), was keynote speaker at the launch event.
Zimbabwe: Economic Reconstruction
On 3-4 December, the IJR hosted a 2-day, off-the record roundtable on ‘Challenges for economic reconstruction in Zimbabwe: An engagement with the diaspora’. Opened by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and concluded by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, discussions focused on the role of the Zimbabwean diaspora in contributing to the economic, social and political development of the country. Prime Minister Tsvangirai also addressed a public seminar attended by over five hundred guests, at which he affirmed the Unity Governments’ commitment to the implementation of the Global Political Agreement and urged Zimbabweans to return home.