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South Africa in the African Continent

Ambassador Sooklal signs the guest book in the presence of
Sasha Baillie, Prof. Lukas Sosoe and Pierre Gamenga

More than 100 people from both the business and the diplomatic world attended the business seminar on 23 September co-organised by the South African Embassy entitled “South Africa in the African continent”. The event was held at the offices of the Chamber of Commerce in Luxembourg and H.E. Dr Anil Sooklal, South African Ambassador to Belgium, was guest speaker. Present also were representatives from other international institutions such as the European Union, the European Investment Bank, The African Union and the Rand Merchant Bank.
Mr Pierre Gamenga, Director General of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, opened proceedings with a word of welcome and announced that Luxembourg intends in future to be more present in Africa. He then invited Ambassador Sooklal to take to the podium and speak about investment in South Africa.
“Possibility, innovation and sustainability: three attributes that can be applied to South Africa. The African continent is now commonly referred to as the last investment frontier and South Africa with its advanced infrastructure is an obvious hub to be part of the Africa growth story”. With these words the Ambassador began a tour of the many reasons to invest in Africa and South Africa. South Africa’s infrastructure as tested by the successful hosting of the 2010 World Cup, relations with the EU with South Africa being one of only nine countries to have a privileged Strategic partnership with the EU, and South Africa’s recent invitation to become a member of BRICS being just a few of them.
Next up was Professor Lukas Sosoe, professor at the University of Luxembourg speaking on Growth and Development in the African context. From a very sober beginning citing Africa as the 2nd largest, the 2nd most populated and the poorest continent he ended on a positive note adding that the current trend of collaboration and cooperation will turn the tide and allow Africa’s potential to reap its just benefits. These views were further compounded by the deputy Secretary General of Luxembourg’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sasha Baillie, as she hammered the point that whereas dealings with Africa previously fell under the development umbrella, there is increasing talk of equal partnerships.
A welcome coffee break allowed guests to mingle before Angela Jenni from the European Investment Bank gave a brief presentation of the EIB and its role in Advancing growth and development in South Africa and Southern Africa. She then acted as co-moderator, along with Serge-Anno Klumper also from the EIB, in the panel discussion on Doing Business in Africa. Panel members included representatives from SES ASTRA, Taste of Africa, the Rand Merchant Bank and ALFI.
The high interest and participation levels meant that the schedule was tight but that did not discourage attendees from lingering after the speeches to share contact details and benefit from the delicious South African wines offered by Nadine Pryter from Taste of Africa and the South African Embassy.
SA Embassy Brussels
 


 
 
 
 

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