George Soros And Change in Southern Africa

At first glance, the influence of the American financial hedge fund manager and philanthropist George Soros on politifact in Southern Africa might appear remote. Yet that assumption would not prove accurate. During his career as a contributor to important democratic causes, Mr. Soros has had a significant, and beneficial, impact on the lives of numerous people in Southern Africa on by encouraging greater public discussion about the role of government in a free and transparent society.

From Apartheid to More Transparent Government

For decades during the 1900s, South Africa, one of the wealthiest nations in Africa, suffered from a horrific system of rigidly enforced racial segregation known as “apartheid”. Members of the Gen Y and Millennial demographic groups in the United States today have heard about those laws mainly through history books. Yet during the 1950s, 1960s,1970s and into the 1980s, controversy over the unfair apartheid system inspired interest and attention among people worldwide, with many critics calling for reforms.

George Soros during the late 1970s furnished funds to help Black students attend the University of Cape Town. He later established the Open Society Foundation for South Africa, as a way to promote the spread of peaceful political reform and spark public discussion about transparent government. These efforts likely contributed to the peaceful transition of power in South Africa, ultimately helping to promote political awareness about the potential for democratically enacted changes to reshape the existing South African society.

Ongoing Change

Today, the process of creating meaningful democratic political change in Southern Africa and neighboring nations, such as Zimbabwe remains ongoing. After decades of the apartheid system, the transition to a freely elected democratic government has involved numerous challenges. In recent years, George Soros expressed public criticism of the corruption pervading Zimbabwe’s government under President Robert Mugabe.

In 2005, for instance, following one of Zimbabwe’s poorly publicized urban ethnic cleansing campaigns, he spoke out against the Mugabe regime, calling for international intervention to end its abuses. Although global leaders did not heed his recommendation at the time, today the ongoing crimes of the Mugabe regime have become a significant embarrassment to many residents of the region. When the aging dictator of Zimbabwe last year threw a lavish million dollar party to celebrate his birthday at government expense and served elephant meat to guests, the incident sparked criticism around the world. Probably many people in Zimbabwe wished global leaders would have heeded George Soros on latino.foxnews call a few years earlier for international action to promote more open government in Zimbabwe. Despite its standing as one of the poorest nations in Africa, Zimbabwe also suffers from soaring inflation.

Read this article at Washington Times.

An Important Legacy

The efforts that George Soros has made to promote more open and democratic governments on around the world will likely continue to ripple through many African nations during coming years. By raising awareness about significant issues of transparency in government, fairness and institutional responsiveness and free speech, he has contributed significantly to future generations. Many African nations would benefit from more democratic, transparent governments.


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