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Modest Prosperity

12 December 2017

A book review by K Bhana

A seminar was hosted by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and the Embassy of the PRC in South Africa to launch the second Volume of the book, The Governance of China which is a collection of speeches, remarks and thoughts of President Xi Jinping on the coming of age of China, once again.

History provides much evidence of China’s splendid ingenuity and a profound understanding of the wonders of nature. Its warriors, inventors, artist and crafters and healers were open to obtaining and sharing knowledge.  They understood that by sharing true knowledge it could be improved and preserved. China’s distinct impact and influence is visible and present the world over. Many nations garnered many skills and expertise, many centuries ago, along the routes to China, as they traded goods and services, exchanged inventive ideas, and invested in the beauty of diversity as they increased the gene pool.



11 December 2017

Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Bakytzhan Sagintayev participated in the Kazakhstan Global Investment Roundtable.

Representatives of more than 100 international companies, financial organizations, embassies, non-governmental organizations and foreign media participated in the forum. The roundtable was devoted to the issues of investing into the country’s economy.


Bilateral maritime Exercise Oxide 2017 in La Reunion

10 December 2017

This year was the fifth edition of the joint bilateral Franco-South-African OXIDE exercise. It was hosted by France in La Réunion Island between the 24th of November and the 9th of December. The exercise is scenario-based and this year’s theme was “fight against narco-trafficking”.

Exercise Oxide is currently the only joint bilateral exercise that South Africa is involved in. The aim of this exercise, made possible through a defense cooperation agreement of 2004, is to reinforce co-operation and to strengthen the interoperability between the French Armed Forces in the Southern Indian Ocean (FAZSOI) and the Joint Operations Division of the South African National Defense Force (SANDF), in order to respond more effectively to regional security issues.


Serbia and South Africa to advance defense cooperation

5 December 2017

South African Defense Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula visited Belgrade where she met separately with her Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vulin, as well as Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic.

In the talks, both sides noted a high level of bilateral relations, dating back to the times of anti-colonial struggle and the Non-Aligned Movement, expressing readiness for their further solidification.

Ministers Ivica Dacic of Serbia and Nosivive Mapisa-Nqakula of South Africa

Vulin told Mapisa-Nqakula that the two countries have a lot of opportunities to cooperate in the area of defense. Vulin said South Africa has one of the biggest defense industries in the world and that the cooperation can be expanded in this area so that Serbian products can reach the markets of the African continent.

Mapisa-Nqakula said the meeting confirmed the good cooperation between the two countries despite their distance.


Vice President of Mauritius visits South Africa

6 December 2017

Mr PV Lutchmun, High Commissioner of Mauritius in South Africa hosted a high level reception in Pretoria for the Vice President of Mauritius, His Excellency Mr Paramasivam Pillay Vyapoory. Having served as High Commissioner of Mauritius in South Africa previously, the Vice President had the opportunity to interact with heads of mission with whom he was well acquainted.

Photo: (l-r) Ambassador Veiccoh K. Nghiwete of Namibia, Ambassador Mahamane Aoudou Cisse of Mali, Ambassador Beka Dvali of Georgia, Ambassador Jacob Dominguez of Panama, High Commissioner Yannis Iacovou of Cyprus, Vice President of Mauritius, His Excellency Mr Paramasivam Pillay Vyapoory, Ambassador Mairin Josefina Moreno-Merida of Venezuela, High Commissioner PV Lutchmun of Mauritius, Ambassador Božin Nikolić of the Republic of Serbia and Ambassador Michal Král of the Czech Republic.

Vice President Vyapoory visited Durban and Pietermaritzburg from November 15 to 19, primarily as a delegate and keynote speaker at the World Tamils Economic Conference which took place at the Albert Luthuli Durban ICC.

More than 500 local and international delegates attended the three-day conference which was organised by the World Tamils Economic Foundation and Madras Development Society.


The Louvre Abu Dhabi

On November 11 2017, Ambassador Mahash Saeed Salem Mahash Alhameli of the United Arab Emirates to South Africa hosted a celebration of the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Ambassador Christophe Farnaud of France joined in the opening celebration which marked the completion of France’s most significant museum cooperation project valued at £1billion. In his remarks Ambassador Farnaud pointed out that South Africa was the only country in the world, outside the UAE, that marked the occasion.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi, designed by architect Jean Nouvel, is the result of an intergovernmental agreement between France and the UAE signed in March 2007.


Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital undermines peace process

8 December 2017

The South African government on Thursday expressed concern over the announcement by the United States recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday his official recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and instructed moving the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The move was universally condemned as illegal in terms of numerous decisions of the UN Security Council as well as under international treaties, including the Geneva Convention.

Responding to the announcement, the South African government said the announcement undermines progress that has been registered within the context of the Middle East Peace Process (MEPP), which it believes seeks to secure a lasting sustainable peace between Israel and Palestine.

“The decision to relocate the US Embassy to East Jerusalem is regrettable and is not constructive in advancing a sustainable solution in the MEPP,” the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) said.


Thailand and South Africa to further ties that benefits it peoples and tackle common concerns

8 December 2017

In remarks marking the National Day of the Kingdom of Thailand held in Pretoria, South Africa on 5 December 2017, Mr. Paisit Boonparlit, Charge d’Affaire informed the gathering of over 250 guests who weathered the rain to celebrate Thailand’s national day that much potential exists for people-to-people cooperation between Thailand and South Africa. He thanked H.E. Mrs. Susan Shabangu, Minister of Women in the Presidency of the Republic of South Africa for representing her government at the celebration held at Thai House.

Photo: Mr. Paisit Boonparlit, Charge d’Affaire of Thailand adressing guests

Mr. Boonparlit and Minister Shabangu acknowledged the close ties that exist between the two countries that will be enhanced in 2018 as the two countries celebrate 25 years of diplomatic relations. They recognized the potential of cooperating in the IORA sphere where both countries are committed to cooperate especially after South Africa has assumed the IORA chairmanship since October this year.


Japan National Day

1 December 2017

Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki of Japan hosted a reception to celebrate the birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan, who will be 84 years old on the 23rd of December.

Addressing guests Ambassador Hiroki said that 2018 will be a milestone year in history, both of South Africa itself and of SA-Japan bilateral relations. The 18th of July 2018 will mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Nelson Mandela. That year will also mark the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Japan’s diplomatic mission to South Africa, in the form of the Consulate in Cape Town. It was established as Japan’s first mission on the African continent.

Speaking about his personal experience, Ambassador Hiroki said, "Every diplomat posted here over those 100 years worked hard to learn a little more about this beautiful country and its people. Following their footsteps, I have found it a joy and an honour to search for the soul of South Africa. I remember my first trip in South Africa, to Umtata and Qunu in the Eastern Cape, the birthplace of Madiba 100 long years ago. I walked where young Madiba walked, and saw the rolling hills and roaming cattle, that must have entertained the mind of Nelson Mandela. Travel like this is a very useful way for us to get to know the country."


Ambassador Farnaud of France honours Dr. Ayanda Ntsaluba with France’s highest civil award

28 November 2017

Ambassador of France to South Africa, H.E. Mr Christophe Farnaud, hosted a reception in honour of Dr. Ayanda Ntsaluba, acting chairperson of the South African National Aids Trust, who received the insignia of Officier de la Légion d’Honneur (Officer in the Legion of Honour).

Dr. Ntsaluba is a medical doctor and well-known political activist during the fight against apartheid. After working as a medical doctor in Umtata, Eastern Cape, between 1982 and 1985, Dr. Ntsaluba went into exile in 1986. He studied international relations in Moscow before working at health centres for South Africans in exile in Zambia, Angola, Tanzania and Uganda until 1991. In 1995, he was appointed Deputy Director-General for Policy and Planning in the National Department of Health before serving as Director-General of the same department until 2003. He then joined the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) as Director-General. After a stint in the private sector, he joined the South African National Aids Trust as acting chairperson in 2017.


Celebrating Navy Day Indian Naval Sailing Vessel Tarini

1 December 2017

A commemorative event celebrating the Navy Day of Indian Navy and the historic circumnavigation attempt by Indian Naval Sailing Vessel Tarini with an all women crew was held at Freedom Park, Pretoria on 30 November 2017. The event was attended by several Ambassadors and members of the Defence and Diplomatic Community. A short film on Indian Navy and on INSV Tarini was screened which encapsulated the activities of the Indian Navy and the voyage of INSV Tarini.  

Photo: Indian Defence Advisor Captain M M Thomas, Captain Sonika Van Rooyen of the South African Navy and Indian High Commissioner Ms Ruchira Kamboj speaking via livechat to the crew of Tarini (inset)

The Indian High Commissioner Ms Ruchira Kamboj, introduced the crew of Tarini and explained how their exploits was fast becoming an inspiration to millions in India and across the globe.  “The six young women were drawn from different parts of India and bonded to a common dream, were flagged off on 10 September this year by India’s Defence Minister, also a woman, from Goa,” Ms. Kamboj told the audience.



October 2017 Edition







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