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Welcome to South Africa

17 January 2018

Heads of Mission were welcomed to South Africa by President Jacob Zuma who received their Letters of Credence at Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guest House in Pretoria  on 17 January 2018. The following Heads-designate from thirteen (13) countries presented their letters to the President: Mr Carlos Enrique Fernandez-Arias Minuesa (The Kingdom of Spain), Mr Mohamed Onfouan Neab (Syrian Arab Republic), Mr Ahmed Musa Ibeto (Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mr Sagour Youssouf Mahamat Itno (Republic of Chad), Dr Martin Schafer (Federal Republic of Germany), Mr Ralechate Lincoln Mokose (Kingdom of Lesotho), Dr Shiferaw Teklemariam Menbacho (Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia), Mr Mohamed Elhassan Ibrahim Alawad Hassan (Republic of Sudan), Mr Rodolfo Eliseo Benitez Verson (Republic of Cuba), Mr Manuel Maria Camacho Cansado Carvalho (Republic of Portugal), Mr Kabalan Frangieh (Republic of Lebanon), Mr Alexander Sidoruk (Republic of Belarus) and Mr Abdoulie Bojang (Republic of Gambia). (Photo credit: Elmond Jiyane - GCIS)

In his remarks Jacob Zuma invited the Heads of Mission to join South Africans, Africans and peace loving people of the world in celebrating the centenary of South Africa's former President Nelson Mandela. He also said that this great country of Nelson Mandela is stable and is open to foreign investment. South Africa is alive with a variety of opportunities and President Zuma urged the Heads of Mission to explore and leverage for mutual benefit.


United efforts against corruption yield positive results

Astana, 8 December 2017

The conference on Modern Anti-Corruption Standards and International Cooperation Development took place on 8 December 2017 in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. The event was held one day prior to the UN-recognised International Anti-Corruption Day, marked annually since 2004.

Photo: Rixos President Astana

The conference was attended by some 250 representatives, including high-level government officials and representatives of Kazakhstan’s Parliament, law enforcement agencies, civil society and international organizations. The event focussed on best international practices and anti-corruption standards.

The conference was divided into 3 directions, which provided an opportunity to discuss issues in the field of preventing corruption. Below are a set of recommendations for the international community on how best to fight corruption, strengthen international cooperation in this area and implement the UN Convention against Corruption.


Condolences on passing of anti-apartheid activists

15 January 2017

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation expresses its condolences to the family and friends of several anti-apartheid activists who passed on in recent days.

“The start of 2018 has brought along with it sad news of the passing of three deeply committed anti-apartheid stalwarts: Thanga Pillay (mother of High Court Judge Jody Kollapen), Rica Hodgson and Keorapetse Kgositsile.  All three had contributed meaningfully to our country in different ways. They leave an inspiring legacy behind,” said the Foundation’s Executive Director, Neeshan Balton.

“While Thanga Pillay’s political awareness stemmed from her interaction with the Transvaal Indian Congress, Rica Hodgson’s activism had its foundings in the South African Communist Party and the Congress of Democrats, while she later got involved in the work of the ANC and its armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe. South Africa’s National Poet Laurette, Keorapetse Kgositsile worked for the New Age newspaper, and later for the ANC in exile. Despite their different entry points into political activism, the end goal of each of the three was the same, to defeat a racist and oppressive state,” Balton said.



State of the Nation Address by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev
January 10, 2018


Dear people of Kazakhstan,

Today the world is entering the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, an era of profound and rapid changes: technological, economic and social.
The new technological order significantly changes the way we work, exercise our civil rights, and raise children.
The need to be prepared for global changes and challenges has prompted us to adopt the Kazakhstan-2050 Development Strategy.
We have set the goal of entering the top thirty most developed countries in the world.


Kenya and South Africa are strategic partners

12 January 2018

President Jacob Zuma held talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta of the Republic of Kenya at Dr John Langalibalele Dube House residence in Durban.

President Kenyatta is on his first working visit to South Africa since his inauguration on 28 November 2017.

The two leaders discussed matters of mutual concern between South Africa and Kenya, who enjoy very warm bilateral relations underpinned by strong historical and political bonds.

President Zuma and President Kenyatta also committed to further strengthening trade and economic relations between the two countries as South Africa remains a strategic partner of Kenya in many areas, particularly trade and security.


SA mourns Prof Kgositsile

The Nelson Mandela Foundation has sent its condolences on the passing away of Professor Keorapetse William Kgositsile.

Kgositsile, 79, passed away at Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg on Wednesday afternoon.

“It is with heavy hearts that the trustees and staff of the Nelson Mandela Foundation heard of the passing of Ntate Keorapetse William Kgositsile.  Our thoughts are with his family, friends and comrades at this most difficult time.

Photo: Poet Laureates of Jamaica and South Africa, Professor Mervyn Morris (r) and Professor Keorapetse Kgositsile (c) pictured with John Clarke, Acting High Commissioner of Jamaica at the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of South Africa’s democracy as well as 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Jamaica and South Africa  on 16 September 2014 (file photo)

“His many accomplishments as an activist, author and intellectual are recorded indelibly in South Africa’s public record. He was a trusted presence in almost every process designed by progressive formations in our country post-1990 to imagine the ‘post-apartheid’,” the foundation said in a statement.


African Union's Ministerial Conference on Migration

9 January 2018

SA International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashahane is attending the African Union's (AU) Ministerial Conference on Migration, which brings together AU Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco, on 09 January 2018.

(Photo: Jacoline Schoonees)

The main objective of the conference is to harmonise the vision for an "African Agenda on Migration", taking into consideration the following principles:

• Inclusiveness and responsibility sharing; • Human rights; • Migration and development; • Fighting irregular migration.



SA, Zimbabwe to strengthen trade relations

22 December 2017

President Jacob Zuma and President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe have undertaken to strengthen economic trade and cooperation between South Africa and Zimbabwe.

“The two Heads of State agreed on the need to strengthen economic cooperation and expand economic and trade relations between the two countries, and to make this a key feature of the South Africa-Zimbabwe Bi-National Commission agenda, in support of President Mnangagwa's mission to revive the Zimbabwean economy which has been hit by sanctions and other challenges over many years,” said the Presidency in a statement.

Photo: Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa pays a courtesy call on Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa (GCIS)


The Action Northeast Trust of India Shaping the Wellbeing of Communities at grass root level

By Srimal Fernando Global Editor, The Diplomatic Society

For more than 17 years, the Action Northeast Trust (the Ant) has been doing wonderful work at grass root level in 250 remote village hamlets in Chirang District of Lower Assam in India to improve the wellbeing of the most vulnerable and marginalized sections of the society.

Photo: Dr Sunil Kaul, the Managing Trustee and co-founder of the Action Northeast Trust

Established in October 2000 the Action Northeast Trust was originally founded by Dr. Sunil Kaul , Ms  Jennifer Liang and (late) Sh. Ravindranath Upadhyay, a recipient of one of India’s highest civilian awards  “Padma Shri “. They spent a considerable amount of time steering the direction of the charity and doing their bit towards this noble cause of uplifting the socio-economic status of people living in remote areas. This month The Diplomatic Society Global Editor, Srimal Fernando had a chance to talk with Dr Sunil Kaul, the Managing Trustee and co-founder of the non-profit organization the Action Northeast Trust at the Rawmari campus.  


Finland at 100

15 December 2017

Ambassador Kari Alanko of Finland hosted a reception to celebrate Finland's 100th birthday.

Photo: Ambassador Alanko (bottom right) pictured with embassy staff ant the national day celebration

Starting out as a poor country, Ambassador Alanko said, Finland is now, according to different indicators, the most stable country on earth; the safest country in the world, and the least amount of organized crime among nations; the third least corrupt country in the world;  number two in terms of social development; the second best country in the world for children and mothers; the best primary education system in the world; number three in terms of equality, amongst many others.


Everyone is getting served!

Born out of writer Mike White’s itch to respond to a number of socio-political events, Beatriz at Dinner is the collaborative effort between writer, White, and Director Miguel Arteta.

The killing of Cecil the lion in 2015 had enraged White so much that he began to imagine the conversation he would have were he faced with someone who told him they were on their way to Africa to hunt an exotic and endangered animal. Setting this imagined conversation against the relatable backdrop of a dinner party provided the perfect frame for White and Arteta to expose and explore the polarities of the current social discourse.

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Nov/Dec 2017 Edition







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