Nursultan Nazarbayev – 'Leader of the Nation'

1 December 2019

Astana, the Kazakh capital was renamed Nursultan in tribute to Nursultan Nazarbayev the former President of this Central Asian nation. Nazarbayev chose to step down as President of Kazakhstan on March 19 2019, "I have taken the decision to refuse the mandate of the presidency," said 78 year old Leader of the Nation as he is fondly known. “I will be with you to serve until the end of my days,” he said. “I see my future task in ensuring a new generation of leaders.” Nazarbayev will continue to serve as the Chair of the Security Council of Kazakhstan and as leader of the ruling Nur Otan party.

Kazakhstan gained independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991 as did several other countries that made up this communist block of countries. Nursultan Nazarbayev was the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic in 1989 and was elected as the nation's first president following its independence.

Today Kazakhstan is a modern nation and its state of the art futuristic capital Nursultan (formerly Astana) is a clear indication of the direction and path that the country’s 20 million people are taking. It is the 9th largest country in the world by land size and the largest economy in the Central Asian region. It is steeped in an ancient history of warriors and hunters; the first people to domesticate horses and use eagles for hunting. The horse is revered in Kazakh culture and tradition.

In terms of mineral and energy resources Kazakhstan is abundantly blessed with petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, copper, gold and bauxite. It is in the top 10 list of countries in the world for mineral resources.

Kazakhstan has entered a new historical period in its political and economic modernization. In the many speeches, documents, articles and papers delivered by the former President, he outlines a framework for an orderly and respectful transition and emergence of the country as it opens up and takes its place among the nations of the world.

Nazerbayev inspired a strong sense of belonging to a nation of people who take responsibility for their sovereignty and prosperity. He refers to the delicate balance between historical consciousness and modernization to face the new realities and that the challenges they bring need to be addressed through an open and modern public conscience. The need for the characteristics of competitiveness, pragmatism, preserving national identity, cult of knowledge, evolutionary and not revolutionary development of Kazakhstan should be emphasized.

Mr. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev takes over the presidency of Kazakhstan as the second president of the country. The 65 year old President Tokayev, has served as Foreign Minister twice and has had a long and illustrious diplomatic career. He is regarded as a capable successor to Nazarbayev and has vowed to continue the legacy of building a modern, effective state that is stable and reputable. President Tokayev introduced a raft of measures during his first state of the nation that will create opportunities for enterprise and improve the lives of the Kazakh people.

Celebrations of the 1150th anniversary of the philosopher Al-Farabi and the 175th anniversary of the admired and respected Kazakh poet Abai Kunanbayuly in 2020 will glorify the contribution of these luminaries of this nation of many traditions and cultures, united in their diversity.