Expart

Kumi Naidoo

Kumi Naidoo

Born in South Africa, Kumi Naidoo became involved in the country’s liberation struggle at the age of 15. In 1986 he was charged with violating the emergency regulations and was forced underground for almost a year before fleeing to exile. During this time he was a Rhodes Scholar and later earned a doctorate in political sociology. After Nelson Mandela’s release in 1990, Naidoo returned to South Africa to work on the legalization of the African National Congress. During the democratic elections in 1994 he directed the training of all electoral staff in the country and was one of the official spokespersons of the Independent Electoral Commission.

Dr. Naidoo has served as Secretary General of CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, was the founding executive director of the South African National NGO Coalition (SANGOCO) and also the founding Chair of the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP), where he remains global ambassador. He previously served as a board member of Global Reporting Initiative (2006-2011) and Earth Rights International (2008-2011), while he presently sits on the board of Food and Trees for Africa and is a member of 350.org’s international advisory board. Naidoo has also served as a board member of the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) and in 2003 was appointed by the former Secretary General of the United Nations to the Eminent Persons Panel on UN Civil Society Relations. In 2012 he was appointed to the UN Women’s Global Civil Society Advisory Group. He received the degree of Doctor Legum (honoris causa) from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in July 2012 for his contribution to civil society.

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