His Excellency Zainal Arif Mantaha visited NTU-SBF Centre for African Studies (CAS) for a face-to-face briefing on 2 September (2021) following his appointment as Singapore’s High Commissioner to South Africa. He was received by CAS Director, Amit Jain, who introduced him to the work done by the Centre and its mission. Mr Jain, congratulated His Excellency on his recent appointment and thanked him for his support. He briefed him about the Centre’s research areas and achievements. The two discussed areas of potential synergies between CAS and South Africa-based think tanks as well as public and private entities. Mr Mantaha applauded the work done by CAS and expressed his willingness to facilitate collaboration and expand its outreach in Southern Africa.
A career diplomat, Mr Mantaha was appointed as the High Commissioner to the Republic of South Africa on 31 August. In his role, he also concurrently holds accreditation to Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, and Eswatini. He has earlier served as Singapore's Ambassador to France.
Mr Mantaha joined the Foreign Service in 1991 and has a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from the NUS. He served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs covering relations with Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. Mr Mantaha also served as the Deputy High Commissioner at the Singapore High Commission in London from 2006 to 2010.