Ties that bind - Jamaica and South Africa
South African International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane arrived in Montego Bay on Saturday, 19 September 2015, on her Working Visit to Jamaica, scheduled for 20-22 September 2015. Minister Nkoana-Mashabane addressed the International Women’s Forum (IWF) on Sunday, 20 September 2015, under the theme: “Phenomenal Women.” The Minister held bilateral consultations with her counterpart, the Honourable Arnold J. Nicholson, QC, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Jamaica’s Capital, Kingston.
Pictured is Minister Nkoana-Mashabane paying a courtesy call on the Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller, O.N, M.P.
South Africa and Jamaica enjoy strong bilateral relations as symbolised by high level visits and various Agreements signed across a number of sectors since 1994. The key sectoral areas of cooperation include education and skills development; science and technology; arts and culture; and tourism. However, trade remains minimal and considerably imbalanced in South Africa’s favour. The move to develop Jamaica as a logistics hub has a potential to improve trade between South Africa and Jamaica.
Photo: South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, HE Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and HE, Senator Arnold J. Nicholson, QC, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica and members of their delegations at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of Political Consultations at the conclusion of the bilateral meeting. Images by Unati Ngamntwini
The two countries have strong historical and political ties, with Jamaica having played an important role in supporting South Africa in the struggle against Apartheid. South Africa has bestowed national orders on two former Jamaican Prime Ministers. The Order of the Companions of OR Tambo (Gold) was bestowed on Michael Norman Manley posthumously in 2004 and on PJ Patterson in 2013.
The relationship between the two countries is also underpinned by a common desire to influence the global agenda in the 21st century in a manner that reflects the aspirations of developing countries, and the African Diaspora in particular. Both countries play an important role in their respective regional organisations and in multilateral fora, such as the United Nations (UN), and are members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the Group of 77 plus China (G77) and the Commonwealth.