Deputy Minister Mfeketo visits Kazakhstan
Deputy Minister Mfeketo delivering a lecture at KAZGUU University. Also pictured is Ambassador Shirish Soni of South Africa in Kazakhstan and Ambassador of Kazakhstan in South Africa, Mr Talgat Kaliyev
ASTANA – Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Nomaindiya Mfeketo visited Astana from Nov. 5-6 to co-chair the fourth round of South Africa-Kazakhstan Bilateral Consultations with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Askar Mussinov and address the first Kazakhstan-South Africa Business Forum held under the bilateral consultations.
A number of officials from DIRCO, DTI and the Department of Environmental Affairs accompanied the Deputy Minister to Astana.
During her visit, Deputy Minister Mfeketo also presented a lecture at the Kazakh Humanitarian Law University (KAZGUU) under the auspices of the KAZGUU Diplomatic Club, a foreign policy lecture and discussion platform, that was launched this year, with South African Ambassador Shirish Soni as its first chair. The lecture presented by Deputy Minister Mfeketo focused on bilateral relations between South Africa and Kazakhstan, and the potential it holds for both countries.
DDG Anil Sooklal delivering a BRICS lecture at KAZZGUU University
In his capacity as BRICS Sous Sherpa, Dr Anil Sooklal, Deputy Director-General for Asia and the Middle East at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation who accompanied Deputy Minister Mfeketo on her visit to Kazakhstan, presented a lecture on BRICS at KAZGUU University.
During the bilateral consultations, the countries agreed to cooperate and exchange experience in mineral mining and geology; oil, gas and renewable energy; agriculture and agro-processing; tourism; science and technology; higher education and training; trade and investment and innovation.
Both parties agreed to foster business-to-business development by forming a joint business council to be managed by the business community from both countries. The joint business council will report to the bilateral commission that is held annually.
Shortly before Deputy Minister Mfeketo’s visit to Astana, an international library, a concept sparked by a former cellmate of Nelson Mandela, was opened Oct. 21 at the Kazakh Humanities and Law University (KAZGUU). Kazakh Minister of Foreign Affairs Erlan Idrissov, heads of diplomatic missions and representatives of international organisations participated in the official opening ceremony.
The initial idea was communicated by Ahmed Kathrada, a friend of the former President of the Republic of South Africa who spent 26 years in jail with Mandela. Kathrada visited Kazakhstan in 2012 and his lecture to KAZGUU students was the first speech in the country dedicated to him.
As part of the July 18 festivities celebrating Mandela Day, Ambassador Soni donated 450 books from his personal collection to the KAZGUU library. Among them were books on law, history, foreign policy and social studies and many biographies and autobiographies of world leaders. The South African embassy also donated a number of books about the life and times of former President Nelson Mandela. The books are in different languages to support academics and students in their studies.