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Name: Nhlapo, Welile
Current Position: Ambassador


Welile Nhlapo has served as South Africa’s Ambassador to the United States since August 14, 2007. He began his activities as a student in the Black Consciousness Movement, but by 1973, a banning order was issued against him. He went into exile in Botswana in 1974, and became Deputy Editor of the ANC publication Sechaba, and Head of the ANC Youth Section.
Nhlapo later became the ANC Chief Representative in Botswana, and Head of the Political Section in the ANC Secretary-General’s office. He joined the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1994, and was part of the South African Government delegation to the United Nations General Assembly later that year.
In 1995, he was appointed South African Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the Organization of African Unity and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. In 1997, he was appointed Special Envoy to Burundi. He also served as non-resident Ambassador to Djibouti, Eritrea and Sudan.
In 1998, he was appointed Deputy Director-General responsible for Africa in the Department of Foreign Affairs, and in 2001, was appointed Head of the Presidential Support Unit.
Nhlapo was appointed deputy Head of Mission responsible for political affairs in the African Union Mission in Burundi. He later became the Head of the Political Section of the United Nations Mission there.
Nhlapo was a director in the Department of Political Affairs (Africa Division 1) at the United Nation’s Headquarters in New York. He also served as the chairman of the board of the Nelson Mandela’s Children Fund in the United States.
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