The Uruguay-Africa Chamber of Commerce (CCUA), with the support of the Embassies of South Africa, Egypt and Namibia (resident in Brazil), held a seminar in Montevideo on 16 March 2012 titled “Africa: The Continent of the Future”. The guest speaker was Dr Michael Power of Investec Asset Management, who was born in Kenya and has extensive knowledge of Africa. The CCUA, established with the support of the two resident Embassies of South Africa and Egypt, is now entering its second year of existence. This is the third successful seminar co-hosted with the Embassies of South Africa and Egypt (resident) and Namibia (nonresident).
Among the 50 guests were businessmen, leaders of the Afro-Descendant community, diplomats and members of the Uruguayan Foreign Ministry.
The Namibian Ambassador, resident in Brasilia, had to present his credentials in Ecuador at the same time, but was represented by the Counsellor: Political Ms Mary Kaakunga, who made a brief presentation on business and tourism opportunities in her country.
Dr Power made a powerful and convincing presentation on why Africa is the Continent of the future and backed it up with authoritative statistics and trends. He made very effective use of the Economist that described Africa as the “Hopeless Continent” on their cover page in May 2002 and then retracted in the December 2011 edition by describing Africa as the “Hopeful Continent”.
There was a lively question and answer session and participants were in agreement that this was a very effective event in informing the Uruguayan society about Africa and about the opportunities it offered to investors and business in general.
The combined efforts of the African Embassies, resident and nonresident, and Uruguayan business provides more leverage to our efforts to promote SA and the Continent more effectively in Uruguay and also in MERCOSUR context. The Uruguayan Foreign Ministry also involves the CCUA when they have business related delegations from other African countries.
Another dimension is the fact that the appointment of a Board Member of CCUA as Namibian Honorary Consul for Uruguay, flowing from the activities of the CCUA, is far advanced. This will not only strengthen the African presence in Uruguay, but will enable the Non-Resident Namibian Embassy to become more visible and effective here. The Namibian Ambassador expressed his appreciation for the excellent working relationship with our Embassy that opened these opportunities/platforms for them.
SA EMBASSY, MONTEVIDEO