OFFinJoburg: The Oslo Freedom Forum In South Africa

Oslo Freedom Forum

In partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is bringing the Oslo Freedom Forum to South Africa this year, the 100th anniversary of Mandela’s birth. The network of individuals from all walks of life, which is committed to the promotion of human rights across the globe, will link with new partners to aim to strengthen those rights and the civil liberties of peoples in Africa and beyond.

Conceived by Thor Halvorssen, a Venezuelan of Norwegian heritage, the Oslo Freedom Forum was founded in 2009 on the premise that all human beings have a natural right to live free of political oppression. Halvorssen’s father was a political prisoner in Venezuela in the early 1990s, and his mother shot at a protest against Chavez’s re-election in 2004, events he has said led him to set up the New York-based non-partisan and non-profit HRF, which in turn launched the Oslo Freedom Forum.

OFFinJoburg will feature talks, interactive exhibits, music, comedy and conversation between entrepreneurs, freedom fighters and heads of state, as well as political dissidents and business leaders, who will come together to encourage freedom of expression and drive reform, many at the risk of their lives. 

Speakers at OFFinJoburg will include Zimbabwean civil rights activist and #ThisFlag movement leader Evan Mawarire, former Maldivian president and environmental activist Mohamed Nasheed, Moroccan-born French free expression advocate and journalist Zineb El Rhazoui, Arab Spring writer and journalist Iyad el-Baghdadi, Chinese-Canadian actress and human rights activist Anastasia Lin, Angolan investigative journalist Rafael Marques de Morais, Eritrean information activist and refugee rescuer Meron Estefanos, and Egyptian actor and LGBT rights activist Omar Sharif Jr, among others.

OFFinJoburg will be held on 26th March in Bryanston, Johannesburg, and the event will also be live-streamed.

Read more about the Oslo Freedom Forum here.