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Since the beginning of the African National congress (ANC) led South Africa, the country has seen various leaders in various levels, sectors and ministries.

While at the end of the day some of these leaders were dismissed with a careless wave as a result of sheer incompetence, others were dismissed with silent boos and hidden faces as a result of corruption or other shameful acts.

The country can count with on its fingers the number of competent and corrupt free leaders it has. When the county is done and the names are called, certainly a name that will not be missing is Trevor Manuel.

More than most in South African politics, Trevor Manuel has had a rather long dealing with different governments of the country. This is including that of Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki, and Kgalema Motlanthe, as well as Jacob Zuma.

Trevor Manuel: Early Life

Trevor was born Trevor Andrew Manuel in Kensington, Cape Town in 1956. Like most South Africans until the 1990s, he was quick see the apartheid of the country, which would later influence his life. He easily saw this as it affected the blacks surrounding him.

Manuel attended the Harold Cressy High school where he completed his secondary education in 1973.

In his educational purse, Manuel has a National Diploma in Civil and Structural Engineering from the Peninsula Technikon. In the same institution, he was awarded Honorary Doctorate of commerce in 2002. He has as well attended the Stanford national University Singapore, where he completed the Executive Management programme.

Manuel has been awarded various Honorary Doctorate degrees from different institutions. In 2002 he got the award from University of South Africa and University of the Western Cape. University of KwaZulu-Natal awarded him the degree in 2003 and Rhodes University honored him with Doctorate of Law in 2006.

He began his professional life working in a construction company, which he left in 1981 after being promoted to civil engineering technician. After resigning, he worked as a volunteer with the Cape Areas Housing Committee (CAHAC). It fact, it was because he wanted to work as a volunteer that he resigned. In 1982, he was appointed by the Education Resource Information Centre (ERIC) as a field worker.

Apartheid struggle and Politics

As a result of his early experience with apartheid, Trevor Manuel was quick to join in the struggle against oppression. His active participation began in the late 1960s.  His participation in active anti apartheid protests and activities have gotten him arrested and detained on numerous occasions. He was as well put under house arrest at some point and was banned from some public activities.

He became ANC’s deputy coordinator in the Western Cape in 1990 when the party was unbanned. From that point on, he went to hold various party positions including the head of its Department of Economic Planning in 1992.

In the first democratic elections of post apartheid South Africa in 1994, Manuel was appointed Member of Parliament under the ANC. In the same year he wasmade Minister of Trade and Industry by the government of Nelson Mandela. He was made Minister of Finance South Africa in 1996, and held the position until 2009.

Manuel Trevor has spent over 18 years as South African Minister. 13 of those years were spent as Finance Minister. Under the government of Jacob Zuma, he served as minister of the National Planning Commission, between 2009 and 2014.

Manuel Trevor project or dream for the South African finance system came vivid when he resigned after the ousting of President Thabo Mbeki in 2008 as a matter of principles. He was however reappointed by Kgalema Motlanthe.

In the international scene, he held positions including as governor of the board of African Development Bank and Bank of southern Africa. Also, he became the Chairman Board of Governors of International monetary Fund, and Chairman of the Development Committee of the World Bank.

Awards and Recognitions

Trevor Manuel bagged various honors and awards. Apart from the honorary awards he has received from prestigious universities, he also got the following awards among others:

  • Africa Prize: the German Africa Foundation (1994)
  • Global Leader for Tomorrow: World Economic Forum (1994)
  • Rotary International Paul Harris Award for Outstanding Achievement (1996)
  • African Finance Minister of the year: Euromoney (1997)
  • Johannesburg Press Association Newsmaker of the year (2005)
  • Management Excellence Award (MANEX): Wits Business School (2006)
  • Woodrow Wilson Public Service Award (2008)

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