2014 National Bell Ringer
His Excellency Ebrahim Rasool
South African Ambassador to the United States
Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool is South Africa’s Ambassador to the United
States of America. Before joining the Embassy, his most recent positions
have included Member of Parliament in the National Assembly, Special
Advisor to the State President of the Republic of South Africa and
Premier (governor of the Western Cape Province).
Ebrahim Rasool has a long history of involvement in the
anti-apartheid struggle starting at High School and including leadership
in the United Democratic Front (UDF) and the African National Congress
(ANC). He has had to make sacrifices like spending time in prison and
being under house arrest.
His social and political involvement has consistently been
faith-driven. He has been involved in both the Islamic Movement as well
as the Interfaith Movement, and has been active in mobilising Muslims
and the broader faith communities for a deeper understanding of Islam
and faith under conditions of oppression (under apartheid) and currently
under conditions of globalisation.
Ebrahim Rasool has built up extensive experience of Government having
led various Departments like Health, Welfare, Finance and Economic
Development, and as Premier of the Western Cape was instrumental in,
amongst others, attracting foreign investment into the Province worth R8
billion (approximately $1 billion) having the highest provincial
economic growth rate, and making significant strides towards achieving
the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s).
For his contribution to South Africa Ambassador Rasool has been the
recipient of a number of leadership awards. In 2008 he was awarded the
Visionary Leadership and Public Good Award from the World Congress of
Muslim Philanthropists, and the Award for Commitment and Leadership in
Fight Against Crime from Business Against Crime. In 2005 the London
Financial Times awarded Ambassador Rasool the Foreign Direct Investment
Africa Personality of the Year Award. Mr Rasool is also the recipient of
the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights presented to him
by the Kaiser Family Foundation in 1998. Founder of the World for All Foundation –
a foundation that rethinks the intellectual tools available to Muslims
and faith communities, that creates co-operative relations between
faiths, cultures and communities at a global level. Ambassador Rasool is
dedicated to overcoming the potential for conflict in the World.
Ambassador Rasool is a prolific speaker on a range of topics covering
politics, governance, religion, Islamic and cultural themes across the
world. He received a Bachelor of Arts and a Higher Diploma in Education
from the University of Cape Town. He is married with two children.