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The 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 7th Session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the parties (CMP7) to the Kyoto Protocol was held in the sunny city of Durban, South Africa.

 

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Ambassador Kingsley Mamabolo

Ambassador Mamabolo has had a distinguished career in foreign relations, dating back to 1978 when at the age of 23 years, he was appointed Deputy Head of Mission of the African National Congress (ANC) to the United Republic of Tanzania. Ambassador Mamabolo held various leadership positions in the ANC in exile including the following:

•           Head of Information and Publicity of the ANC Mission in Zimbabwe (1984),
•           ANC Deputy Head of Mission in Zimbabwe (1985),
•           ANC Head of Mission in Maputo, Mozambique (1987-1989); Cuba (1989 - 1993) and
•           in 1993-94, served as ANC Head of Mission in Zimbabwe.

He returned to South Africa in 1994, thus ending a period of 18 years in exile.

Upon his return to South Africa, he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was immediately appointed the first High Commissioner of democratic South Africa to the Republic of Zimbabwe. Upon completing his term of duty in 1999, he was appointed South Africa's Permanent Representative to the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and to the United Nations' Economic Commission for Africa headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. During the same period he served as South Africa's Ambassador to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia accredited also to the Republic of the Sudan and the Republic of Djibouti.

In 2002 former OAU Secretary General Salim Ahmed Salim appointed him as special envoy to Sierra Leone and the MANU River Basin, a position he held for two years.

In 2002 he was appointed Deputy Director-General for African Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in which he was responsible for overall coordination and management of South Africa's bilateral and multilateral relations in Africa.

Ambassador Mamabolo became the Ministry's resident expert on Africa. In 2006 he was appointed as South Africa's Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region where he participated in the negotiations intended to bring peace and stability in the Democratic Republic of Congo particularly the conflict in the Eastern part of the Country.

He was subsequently appointed as Deputy Facilitator in the Burundi peace process, wherein South Africa's role led to the successful cessation of hostilities and the end to the conflict. The result of which saw Burundi attaining a sustained peace process and the integration of the Palepehutu FNL combatants into the Military and Police divisions. The FNL is now the opposition party in Burundi.

In 2009, Ambassador Kingsley Mamabolo was appointed South Africa's High Commissioner to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a position he held until January 2013.

Ambassador Mamabolo holds a Graduate Diploma in Social Sciences from Moscow School of Social Sciences, a Diploma in Journalism from Harare Polytechnic and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Pretoria.