The Founder’s Message
Founding Chairman of the Brazzaville Foundation, Jean-Yves Ollivier draws from his professional practice of negotiation, his rich and eclectic encounters and his philanthropic background the key elements of his ability to act as an international mediator. Inspired by Nelson Mandela, he demonstrates his willingness to act without prejudice
If there are at all miracles in politics, South Africa did experience one with the release of Nelson Mandela. Apartheid ended without a bloodbath and the future of the country was decided by the South Africans themselves,the stakeholders, without outside interference. What was the key to this success? In one word: "Brazzaville", that is an African initiative involving a series of negotiations leading to a peace agreement that ended the conflicts in southern Africa and paved the way for the reconciliation Mandela had committed his life to.
I was privileged to play a part in that story. It was built on trust and political courage, conciliation as a prerequisite for dialogue and, yes, confidentiality, that virtuous sister of the dirty secret.
Today, I endeavor to pass the baton. The Foundation I chair works for the protection of the environment through the Congo Basin Blue Fund, for better public health through the fight against falsified medicines, and for peace and reconciliation, most urgently in Libya.
In everything we do, Africa is the be-all and end-all of what we are undertaking. Throughout the process, the spirit of Brazzaville — "dare to see in your enemy the special friend he could be" — guides our work.
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