Cablegate: Brenthurst Foundation Provides Advice to Rwanda,
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R 101612Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2227
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 0030
RUEHLGB/AMEMBASSY KIGALI 0999
RUEHTO/AMEMBASSY MAPUTO 5713
RUEHMR/AMEMBASSY MASERU 2655
RUEHMV/AMEMBASSY MONROVIA 0217
RUEHDU/AMCONSUL DURBAN 9258
RUEHTN/AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN 4944
RUEHJO/AMCONSUL JOHANNESBURG 7602
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
UNCLAS PRETORIA 003569
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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL ECON EAID PINR SF
SUBJECT: BRENTHURST FOUNDATION PROVIDES ADVICE TO RWANDA,
LIBERIA, LESOTHO AND MOZAMBIQUE
1. (SBU) The Brenthurst Foundation, a Johannesburg-based
think tank funded by the Oppenheimer family, is providing
"confidential" policy advice to the Governments of Liberia,
Rwanda, Lesotho, and Mozambique. Greg Mills, Director of the
Foundation (see bio-note at para 6), told PolOff and visiting
S/P Advisor on October 1 that Brenthurst focuses on advising
African governments on economic policy, not political issues.
Mills is the point person on the initiative, although he
draws on the resources of outside consultants for particular
2. (SBU) Brenthurst provides the service, free of charge, to
African governments on three conditions:
-- the Foundation will only work directly with the Office of
the Presidency in the respective African countries;
-- it will only provide policy advice where invited by the
President of the country; and,
-- it prefers to work in countries where the Oppenheimers do
not have direct business interests.
Mills noted that the term "Foundation" is misleading since
Brenthurst provides little grant money. It is primarily a
think tank, focused on policy.
3. (SBU) Rwanda is one of Brenthurst's most active programs.
Mills plans to spend four months in Kigali in early 2008
working directly with President Kagame on economic policy.
He is in regular and direct contact with Kagame and is
already helping Kagame draft speeches, including Kagame's
recent speech to the Conservative Party conference in the U.K.
4. (U) In addition to the policy work, Brenthurst also
facilitates dialogues on Africa policy issues, often through
conferences at Tswalu Game Reserve, also owned by the
Oppenheimer family. Recent programs at Tswalu include:
"Globalization and Economic Successes, Africa beyond Aid";
"Business Principles for a Strong Africa"; "Southern Africa
and International Terrorism" (with the U.S. National
Intelligence Council); "The China-U.S.-Trilateral Dialogues";
and, "Vietnam and Africa: Comparative Lessons". Brenthurst
works most closely with the Royal United Services Institute
(RUSI) for Defence and Security Studies. See
www.thebrenthurstfoundation.org for additional information.
5. (SBU) Asked why the Oppenheimer family is devoting so
many resources to this initiative, Mills said that each
generation of Oppenheimers wants to make their mark.
Brenthurst is largely the initiative of Jonathan Oppenheimer,
the 37-year-old son of Nicky Oppenheimer, who wants to
influence the debate on Africa's economic future. It is
motivated by humanitarian or ideological objectives, not
financial, Mills said.
6. (SBU) Bio Note: A long-time and close Embassy contact,
Greg Mills has served as director of the Brenthurst
Foundation since March 2005. The 45-year-old Mills formerly
headed the South African Institute for International Affairs
(SAIIA) at the University of Witswatersrand, the preeminent
foreign policy think tank in South Africa. Mills has written
a number of books, including his most recent on his
four-month tenure as advisor to the International Security
Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, entitled "From Africa
to Afghanistan: With Richards and NATO to Kabul." Mills
received his BA from the University of Cape Town, and his
Masters and PhD from the University of Lancaster.
7. (SBU) COMMENT: We believe Mills would be open to U.S.
Government-provided materials -- or even discreet, informal
advice -- on the economic and political challenges facing the
countries in which Brenthurst is actively working. We are
happy to assist Embassy Kigali in reaching out to Mills once
he arrives in Rwanda in early 2008, if desired. END COMMENT.