The African National Congress will launch a major effort Friday to bring its foreign friends up to date on the political scene in South Africa and to seek their help in a post-apartheid society.

ANC President Nelson Mandela will open a three-day International Solidarity Conference for about 500 delegates from worldwide anti-apartheid groups, religious organizations, unions and sporting bodies. Among the delegates are heavyweight boxing champion Riddick Bowe and chess grandmaster Anatoly Karpov, each of whom also will conduct clinics for blacks.

With constitutional negotiations about to resume, the ANC says the conference is necessary to discuss such matters as sanctions, investment, trade and skills training.