Who We Are

Since its opening in 1986, the Nelson Mandela Centre for African Culture Trust Fund has played an important role in projecting a positive image of African and Creole culture in Mauritius, promoting the richness and variety of African and Creole Arts and Culture by various forms of cultural and social activities through exhibitions, publications, meetings, talks, and the performing arts.

In any society, arts and culture have to play a vital role towards the understanding and the maintaining of peace and harmony for a better life. The Nelson Mandela Centre for African Culture Trust Fund focuses its aims at national and international levels. In a pluralistic society like ours, the understanding and appreciation of one another’s culture is very important and without which peace and harmony may never be achieved.

From the African Cultural Centre to the Nelson Mandela Centre for African Culture Trust Fund

The African Cultural Centre was inaugurated on the 27th October 1986. It was in September 1998 that the African Cultural Centre was renamed Nelson Mandela Centre for African Culture when H.E. the President Nelson Mandela laid the foundation stone of the new building of the Centre at La Tour Koenig.

Brief History

From the 10th to the 12th September 1998, the Republic of Mauritius had the signal honor of welcoming His Excellency, Nelson Mandela.

Soon after his liberation, Nelson Mandela presided over the destiny of his country with uncommon magnanimity towards his adversaries in arms of yesterday.

He bestowed an abundance of forgiveness, offering reconciliation and love instead of retribution and revenge thereby proclaiming to the rest of the world his deep-seated faith in the force of love and non-violence as a great leveller of human foibles and follies.

The visit of Nelson Mandela was a privileged moment in the life of our Nation and an occasion for a rare outpouring of affection for this great man imbued with courage, conviction, integrity, humility and humanity.

Various activities were organised in the context of his official visit. His Excellency, symbolically planted a tree at the SSR Botanical Garden, signed bilateral agreements between our two countries and was made Grand Commander of the Star and Key of the Indian Ocean, the highest honor of the Republic of Mauritius.

He also received the Degree of Civil Law Honoris Causa of the University of Mauritius.

In the context of the annual Summit of South African Developing Countries (SADC), the African anti-apartheid struggle hero, Nelson Mandela, stated that Mauritius “is an inspiration for all South Africans” 
“In a world where new forms of discrimination and prejudice emerge by generating violence and insecurity in many parts of the world, this proud celebration of unity in diversity gives hope,” pointed out Nelson Mandela.


One of the most important moment of his visit, was the laying of the foundation stone of the Nelson Mandela Centre for African Culture Trust Fund formerly known as the African Cultural Centre Trust Fund. On that occasion he wrote in the Centre’s Visitors book: ‘Strength and hope emerged from every part of the body when I laid the foundation stone of this building’.

A Centre which is a pledge of the entire Mauritian Government and population to make accessible the pristine beauty and glory of African Culture.

The immediate task of the Centre is to reconnect our people with their African past by giving them their memory which is also our dignity and inspiration.

The Centre promotes the great values that inspired Nelson Mandela, that is, a passion for justice, an unyielding courage to fight for it, resistance to the forces of oppression and never forget that beyond ethnic, cultural and other artificial barriers that set men against men, our ultimate goal is the brotherhood of men.

On 5th December 2013, former President Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) passed away at the age of 95. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, will be remembered for the stellar role he played in the dismantling of the abhorrent policy of apartheid in South Africa and also in the struggle for freedom of many countries in the world.

‘The best tribute that the world can pay to him is to ensure that we perpetuate the legacy of this exceptional human being.  His leadership and moral rectitude should guide all of us in transforming the world into a place where every single human being gets the opportunity to live up to his potential’.

In line with the objectives of Nelson Mandela Centre and the United Nations Decade for People of African Descent, the Nelson Mandela Memorial Week is celebrated annually since December 2014. The Memorial Week is not a glorification of Mandela but contributes to the making of a just society by keeping alive the legacy of Nelson Mandela. All activities are organized to promote Mandela’s lifelong vision of freedom and equality for all.

Nelson Mandela has dedicated his life to the struggle for peace, justice, tolerance and democracy. We all need to continue their work.

“We will not forget you, we will not dishonor you, we will remember and be glad that you lived among us, that you taught us, and that you loved us all.”

Maya Angelou


In 1989, the African Cultural Centre Trust Fund was formerly established by an enactment of the Parliament of Mauritius-Act No.41 of 1989.  In June 2000, the African Cultural Centre Trust Fund Act was amended by the National Assembly and became the Nelson Mandela Centre for African Culture Trust Fund Act-Act No.5 of 2000.