Kazakhstan is emerging in global and regional influence
26 October 2016
Kazakhstan gained independence from the former Union of the Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) in 1991. 25 Years on and Kazakhstan is emerging in global and regional influence. Its stance on nuclear disarmament stems from its first hand experiences of the horrific nuclear arms testing that it had to endure.
Photo: (l-r) H.E. Ambassador Talgat Kaliyev of Kazakhstan to South Africa, Dr Philani Mthembu, Acting Executive of the IDG and Ms A Kuhn Director, South and Central Asia desk at International Relations of SA (DIRCO)
As a commemoration of the 25th anniversary of independence of Kazakhstan, the University of South Africa (UNISA) , the Institute for Global Dialogue and the Embassy of Kazakhstan in South Africa hosted a public lecture. H.E. Ambassador Talgat Kaliyev of Kazakhstan to South Africa (SA) presented, ‘Kazakhstan and South Africa, achieving common goals towards development and prosperity”.
Ambassador Kaliyev explained Kazakhstan’s willingness to engage candidly and follow a traditional diplomatic policy. It has adopted a market economy, building statehood and a stable nation in the aftermath of the fall of the Iron Curtain.
The Kazakhstan 2030 blueprint projects a new path for the secular nation’s 17 million people, comprising of 120 ethnic groups, each having their own representation in the People’s Assembly. President Nursultan Nazarbayev is the Head of State and Bakhytzhan Sagintayev is the Prime Minister.
Kazakhstan is naturally endowed with many mineral resources, least of them being oil and gas. It has great agricultural potential in a country two times the size of South Africa. It is seeking out non-traditional partners as it broadens its international relations with other developing regions. Its observer status at the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, is evidence of its focus on the regions in Africa.
Dr Philani Mthembu, Acting Executive of the IDG pointed to some of the common areas between South Africa and Kazakhstan including the stance on non-proliferation of nuclear arms, mining and the extractive industries and agriculture.
Ms A Kuhn Director, South and Central Asia desk at International Relations of SA (DIRCO) expressed confidence in the growing relations between the two countries. Trade between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Republic of South Africa from January-December 2015 was 18,7mln US$.
Kazakhstan and South Africa established diplomatic relations in March 1992. The South African Embassy in Kazakhstan was opened in December 2003 in Almaty, and relocated to Astana in February 2008.
The 6th round of political consultations fostered closer relations between the two countries.
Future Energy is the concept of The World Expo 2017 which takes place in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan.