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AU mourns with Botswana following death of former President Masire

23 June 2017

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E Moussa Faki Mahamat, wishes to extend sincere condolences to the Masire family, the Government and the people of the Republic of Botswana on the passing of Dr. Quett Ketumile Joni Masire on 22 June 2017. The late President Masire was born on 23 July 1925 and was the second President of Botswana from 1980 to 1998.  

Photo: Photo: South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane signing Former President Sir Ketumile Masire condolences book at the Botswana High Commission in Pretoria. Picture byline:  Jacoline Schoonees

The Chairperson notes with great appreciation that the late Dr Masire played a critical role in facilitating Botswana independence, through the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and voluntarily stepped down from the Presidency in 1998.

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South Africa DRC push for strengthened trade relations

26 June 2017

South Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have reaffirmed their willingness to improve and strengthen their economic relations.

This will be done through facilitating trade and removing all impediments constraining bilateral trade and investment.

As such, President Jacob Zuma and President Joseph Kabila’s treaty on the avoidance of double taxation should be implemented soon as all legal requirements have been fulfilled.

Photo: President Jacob Zuma of South Africa and President Joseph Kabila Kabange of the Democratic Republic of Congo co-chairing the 10th session of the South Africa-Democratic Republic of Congo Bi-National Commission (BNC) held in Pretoria.(Kopano Tlape GCIS)

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Matariki – The Eyes of God

When the constellation Pleiades, a star cluster, rises in the sky in May and June, the Maori nation of New Zealand celebrate the beginning of a New Year.

H.E Mike Burrell, High Commissioner of New Zealand to South Africa hosted an evening of stargazing and storytelling at his residence in Pretoria, South Africa.

Photo: Debbie Yazbek

Matariki is both the name for Pleiades and translates to the ‘eyes of god’. In traditional times, Matariki was a season to celebrate and to prepare the ground for the coming year. Offerings of the produce of the land were made. It was also a good time to instruct young people in the lore of the land and certain birds and fish were especially easy to harvest at this time.

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Inti Raymi – resurrection of the sun

June 21 marks the Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. It is the day when the Sun begins to set a little later everyday as the days start to get longer.

To celebrate this annual occurrence H.E Maria Soledad Cordova Montero, Ambassador of Ecuador to South Africa celebrated Inti Raymi. This is a colourful traditional ritual to express our gratitude to nature, said the Ambassador.

It is also a reclamation of the indigenous knowledge and identity of South America that is being revived and preserved.

Comparing the inherent cultures of South Africa and Ecuador, Ambassador Montero referred to Thabo Mbeki’s ‘I am an African’ speech in which he recognizes that he owed his being to the hills and the valleys, the mountains and the glades, the rivers, the deserts, the trees, the seas and the ever-changing seasons that define the face of his native land. She also paid tribute to Oliver Tambo, in the centenary year of his birth.

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The French Barbarians in Soweto

24 June 2017

June is rugby month in South Africa. While the Springboks and the XV de France met for three test matches (Pretoria 10 June, Durban 17 June and Johannesburg 24 June), the French “A” Rugby Team (also known as the Barbarians) will also play two matches against its South African counterpart.

The tour to South Africa represents a unique opportunity for France and South Africa to strengthen and deepen sports co-operation and for the French network to reach out to the South African public. The Barbarians, led by Frédéric Michalak, are committed to offer mentoring, coaching and motivational support to promote peace, transformation and development.

The South Africa “A” team and the Barbarians, in particular, extended their support to young South Africans with a passion for rugby. The team visited Jabulani Technical School in Soweto (Koma St, Jabulani, Johannesburg) for a coaching session and signing of t-shirts and rugby balls. On this occasion, they met and shared their sporting experience, knowledge, skills and ideas with 600 young people from Soweto.

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BRICS ministers meeting

Pretoria - Trade, climate change, reforms of the United Nations and terrorism were high on the agenda when the BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs met in Beijing on 19 June 2017

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) who make up the grouping for countries that account for about 40% of the world's population and 20% of the global economy, met in preparation for the upcoming 2017 BRICS Summit to be held in Xiamen later in the year.

Photo: Jacoline Schoonees

The meeting was attended by Ministers of Foreign Affairs and International Relations from all the BRICS countries such as Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Chinese Minister Wang Yi , Minister Sergey Lavrov of Russia, Minister Aloysio Nunes of Brazil and India's Minister Vijay Kumar Singh.

 

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Lack of education and mismatched skills

Brussels, Belguim- 7th June 2017: The African Union Commission cautions that the future of Africa’s economic growth and the future of millions of Africans, is in jeopardy, if the underlying issues that hinder development are not adequately addressed. With Africa expected to double its population over the next 25 years and the working-age population expected to grow by approximately 450 million between 2015 and 2035, the African Union Commission Deputy Chairperson Ambassador Kwesi Quartey says it is critical to urgently address the lack of education and mismatched skills, as major causes of rising numbers of unemployment.

Speaking during the opening of the EU-Africa Business Forum in Brussels, Belgium, the Deputy Chairperson underscored the need to find linkages between education, training and the labour market, especially as the African Union focuses on the theme of the year “Harnessing the demographic dividend through investments in the youth”. He noted that institutions of higher learning in Africa need to review and diversify their systems of education and expand the level of skills, to make them relevant to the demands of the labour market.

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Good neighbours, France and South Africa

On Monday 12 June 2017, the Ambassador of France to South Africa, H.E. Mr Christophe Farnaud, hosted a reception in honour of Brigadier General Franck Reignier, Commander of the French Forces in the Southern Indian Ocean, in order to highlight the strong defence/military relationship between France and South Africa.

Photo: (l-r) Rear Admiral Jamieson, Brigadier General F. Reignier and Ambassador Christophe Farnaud

A key milestone of the constructive defence/military cooperation between France and South Africa, Exercice Oxide will be held for the first time in La Reunion in November 2017. This major bi-yearly bilateral exercise, started in 2008, is dedicated to optimise mutual knowledge and interoperability between the forces, with a view to operate jointly in a wide range of missions, including search and rescue, relief operations, anti-piracy and hostage release.

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Welcome to South Africa

8 June 2017

President Jacob Zuma of South Africa received Letters of Credence from new Heads of Mission accredited to South Africa.

Photo: Standing (l-r) Mr Eric Franck Michel A SAIZONOU - Republic of Benin, Mr Ghorm Said MALHAN - Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mr Ibrahim Mohammad AWAWDEH - Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Mr Nigel Philip CASEY - United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland.
Seated (l-r) Mr Sylvester Mwakinyuke AMBOKILE -    United Republic of Tanzania, Mrs Dumsile Thandi SUKATI - Kingdom of Swaziland, President Jacob Zuma,  
Mr Mahash Saeed Salem Mahash AL-HAMELI - United Arab Emirates, Mrs Elif Ҫomoğlu ŰLGEN -   Republic of Turkey and Mr Andrzej KANTHAK - Republic of Poland. (image: Katlholo Maifadi, DIRCO)

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Madagascar turns to SA for investment

15 June 2017

Malagasy President Henry Rajaonarimampianina has urged South African businesses to invest in Madagascar.

President Rajaonarimampianina said his country, which has recently come out of political instability, is in urgent need of investment.

"Our ambition is one, and that is to improve the lives of our citizens. We call upon the South African business community to partner with us in this goal. We are here to give you compelling reasons to invest in Madagascar," said President Rajaonarimampianina.

The conference was hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) in partnership with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) in Pretoria.

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May 2017 Edition

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AU - EU has a strong Partnership 22 May 2017 Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid, the African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy has stated that the AU-EU partnership is one of the most structured of... <|> Travel across Africa 19 May 2017 Africa Visa Openness Index notes that Africans were able to travel more freely across the continent in 2016 compared to 2015. The African Development Bank in... <|> Hungary and South Africa Water cooperation 24 May 2017 Mr Szilverszter Bus, Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for Hungary was in South Africa. A cooperation... <|> Ecuador – The Republic of Opportunities 24 May 2017 Ambassador Maria Soledad Cordova Montero of Ecuador to South Africa hosted an Expo showcasing products of Ecuador.  These included... <|> Easing travel regulations between South Africa and Kenya 3 May 2016 South Africa and Kenya have announced measures that will make travelling between the two countries easier. South African Home... <|> 28th Anniversary of the Republic of Azerbaijan 30 May 2017 The Charge d’Affaires of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Pretoria, Mr. Azad Naghiyev and Mrs. Sabina Naghiyeva hosted a reception to... <|> Cubans celebrate Africa Day 31 May 2017 Ambassador Carlos Fernández de Cossío of Cuba hosted a cocktail lunch for Cuban professionals working in South Africa to celebrate Africa Day. The venue... <|> Georgia Independence Day 26 May 2017 Ambassador Beka Dvali of Georgia in South Africa hosted a reception to celebrate the Day of Independence of Georgia, a day that every Georgian cherishes, he... <|> 10th Annual Cape Town Steelband Festival 5 June 2017 The sounds of the steelpan reverberated in Cape Town, South Africa on May 11, 2017 as students, young people and steelpan enthusiasts took to... <|> Marla Mossman: One person making a Difference for Peace 5 June 2017 In a series of interviews The Diplomatic Society Global Editor Srimal Fernando began interviewing notable personalities who... <|>
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