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The Elders meet in South Africa

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The Elders return to Johannesburg, where the group was founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007. In addition to their private meetings, they will join students from across Africa to discuss some of the challenges and opportunities facing the continent.

Group founded by Nelson Mandela will discuss Africa's great potential and future challenges during Johannesburg gathering


The Elders are Martti Ahtisaari, Kofi Annan, Ela Bhatt, Lakhdar Brahimi, Gro Brundtland, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Jimmy Carter, Graça Machel, Mary Robinson and Desmond Tutu (Chair). Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi are honorary Elders.

The Elders, a group of eminent global leaders founded by Nelson Mandela three years ago in Johannesburg, will return to the city from 28-31 May for their first full gathering since the group was formed.

They have met regularly since the launch by Mandela on his 89th birthday in July 2007, but this month's meeting will be the first time that all ten members will be together.

The Elders' aim is to use their collective efforts to help address major causes of human suffering. Mandela urged them to work together, independently of any government, "to help resolve what often seem like intractable problems such as climate change, pandemics and violent conflict."

During their private meeting in South Africa from 28-31 May, the Elders will discuss a range of issues in which they have been engaged but will pay particular attention to the great potential – and challenges – facing the African continent.

Later today, before their meeting starts, they will meet President Jacob Zuma in Cape Town.

A brainstorm with some of Africa's best and brightest students to draw up a "Game Plan for a Winning Continent" will be a high point of their programme.

The Elders' meeting is not open to media however they will hold a closing press conference on Monday 31 May. Details will be announced later. Please contact to register interest.

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