During the 1990’s, South Africa experienced a fundamental democratic transition. Both Derek Keys and Trevor Manuel played a crucial role in this development. While Trevor Manuel was responsible for the economic policy of the African National Congress (ANC), Derek Keys served as Minister of Finance from 1992 to 1994 in the cabinets of F.W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela.
Both positions required thorough change and improvement at the time, which the two of them ultimately achieved. Manuel’s task was to strongly reaffirm the ANC‘s goal of empowering the underprivileged, while at the same time adapting the means to achieve it to the market-dominant system of the 1990s.
Keys, on the other hand, had to cope with the consequences of the siege economy, which had resulted in a superior role of the state as well as as well as with the unequally distributed favour of the state. The restructuring measures hereby should not jeopardise progress towards the first democratic elections, but should nevertheless keep the door open for economic growth. For achieving these goals, the two men were honoured with the German Africa Award in 1994.
The award was presented by Rita Süssmuth, President of the German Bundestag.