Mr Beka Dvali, Georgian Ambassador to South Africa presents a book to Professor Mandla Makhanya, Principal and Vice Chancellor of UNISA. Pictured also is Professor Andre Thomashausen, Chair of the Department of Public, Constitutional and International Law at UNISA
The entire traffic police division was fired and for two weeks there were no traffic police on the streets of Georgia, explained Beka Dvali, Georgian Ambassador to South Africa. He was speaking at the College of Law at the University of South Africa (UNISA) on Georgia: Transformational Reforms, Foreign Policy and Emerging Partnerships in Africa.
Transparent Georgian Police station
Police reforms were the first to be targeted in Georgia. Police stations were renovated and redesigned and made of glass to be literally transparent. That one can stand outside and look into the police station is one of the innovative ways the Government of Georgia has endeavoured to inconvenience bribery and corruption.
The links between Georgia and Africa go back to pre-historic times. The fossils from Dmanisi, Georgia represent ancient human ancestors from the early Pleistocene epoch, soon after early Homo diverged from Australopithecus and dispersed from Africa.
Nico Bagrationi came to South Africa from Georgia and joined the Afrikaners to fight the British during the Boer war and became affectionately known as Nico the Boer.
There are three Georgian missions in Africa; Cairo – Egypt, Addis Ababa – Ethiopia, and in Pretoria – South Africa. Georgian relations with South Africa were established in 1993 and the mission opened in 2011 with Mr Beka Dvali appointed the first Georgian Ambassador to South Africa in 2012.
A South Africa-Georgia High Level Political Consultations between the countries Foreign Ministries in Pretoria, a Memorandum of Cooperation in Paleo-Sciences signed between the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) and the Georgian National Museum, the establishment of the South Africa – Georgia Chamber of Commerce (SAGCC) and cooperation between the National Library of South Africa (NLSA) and National Parliamentary Library of Georgia are indications of growing relations between South Africa and Georgia.
Georgia has a population of 4.5 million people. They have their own alphabet with its own unique writing system. It is located in the Caucasus region of Eurasia bordered by the Black Sea in the west, Russia to the north and Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan in the south. The capital of Georgia is Tbilisi.
Since its independence in 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Rose Revolution of 2003, Georgia has pursued a multi vector foreign policy driven by European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations.
Joseph Stalin, considered one of the architects of the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republic, was a Georgian and so too was the former Soviet Foreign Minister and second President of independent Georgia, Eduard Shevardnadze. Arguably these controversial leaders underpin the complex and complicated relationship between Georgia and Russia. The two countries are currently in conflict over Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.