2014 Speakers

Trevor Manuel

Minister in The Presidency: National Planning Commission

Trevor Manuel is the Minister in the Presidency: National Planning. Prior to this, he was one of South Africa’s longest-serving and most-respected finance ministers, having held the role for 13 years, and serving as a minister in the South African government for the past 18 years.

Born in Cape Town in 1956, Manuel’s longstanding public service career began in 1991 when he was elected to the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress (ANC), and was appointed as head of the Department of Economic Planning. He has served as a member of the ANC’s National Executive Committee since his first election in 1991, and re-election in 1994, 1997, 2002 and 2007. In 1994, he was appointed Minister of Trade and Industry under President Nelson Mandela, and appointed Minister of Finance two years later.

Manuel has acted in various senior capacities for a number of national and international bodies. He was governor of the Board of the African Development Bank Group as well as the Development Bank of Southern Africa. He also served as chairman of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund in 2000, and as chair of the Development Committee of the World Bank from 2001 until 2005. He chaired the eighth annual G-20 meetings in South Africa in 2007.  

He was appointed as Special Envoy to the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) on financing for development in 2002 and again in 2008. He also served as a commissioner in the International Task Force on Global Public Goods and on the Commission for Africa. From 2006 until 2008, he was a member of the Commission on Growth and Development, which was chaired by American economist and Nobel Prize laureate, Professor Michael Spence. In 2010, Manuel was appointed by the UN Secretary-General to the High Level Advisory Group on Climate Change Finance. That same year, he was appointed to the board of directors of the Global Green Growth Institute, and was elected to co-chair the Transitional Committee for the Design of a Green Climate Fund in 2011.  

Manuel has received numerous awards for his career in public service. In 2006, he received the prestigious Management Excellence Award from Wits Business School. A year later, he was recognised as Africa's Finance Minister of the Year in honour of his significant contribution to South Africa’s economic stability and growth. He was also honoured with the Woodrow Wilson Public Service Award from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars of the United States' Smithsonian Institution in 2007.

Manuel has has a National Diploma in civil and structural engineering from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (formally the Peninsula Technikon), and has completed the Executive Management Programme from Stanford National University in Singapore. He also holds honorary doctorates in the fields of commerce, technology, economics and law from several South African tertiary institutions, and a Doctor of Laws from MacMaster University in Ontario, Canada.

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