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New vaccine manufacturing facility to elevate healthcare in Africa

President Cyril Ramaphosa and Dr Patrick Soon-Shiong, the founder of the multinational conglomerate NantWorks, cut the ribbon to officially launch NantSA, the future vaccine manufacturing campus in Brackengate, Cape Town and the Coalition to accelerate Africa’s Access to Advanced Healthcare (The AAAH Coalition). (Photos: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS)

19 January 2022

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the newly launched vaccine manufacturing facility campus at Brackengate in Cape Town will usher in a new era in healthcare, medicines and vaccines for the African continent.

The President was speaking at the new facility - dubbed NantSA - which was launched in collaboration with world renowned technology healthcare scientist, Dr Patrick Soon-Shiong and his company NantWorks LLC.

French warship “CHAMPLAIN” pays port visit to South Africa

19 January 2021

The French Navy Offshore Patrol Vessel - CHAMPLAIN - will be in the Durban harbour until the end of this week for its first port call of her journey.

The French warship, which departed from La Réunion earlier this month for a nearly 3 month patrol in the Southern Indian Ocean, arrived in Durban on Monday, 17 January 2022 and is scheduled to depart on Friday, 21 January 2022.

Why the volcanic eruption in Tonga was so violent, and what to expect next

18 January 2022

By Shane Cronin, Professor of Earth Sciences, University of Auckland. (This article was originally published on The Conversation)

The Kingdom of Tonga doesn’t often attract global attention, but a violent eruption of an underwater volcano on January 15 has spread shock waves, quite literally, around half the world.

The volcano is usually not much to look at. It consists of two small uninhabited islands, Hunga-Ha’apai and Hunga-Tonga, poking about 100m above sea level 65km north of Tonga’s capital Nuku‘alofa. But hiding below the waves is a massive volcano, around 1800m high and 20km wide.

Elon Musk's SpaceX Transporter-3 mission to launch South African nanosatellite constellation

Micro-Satellites - SANSA

13 January 2022

In a first for South Africa's space industry, three locally produced nanosatellites will be launched into space today. The first Maritime Domain Awareness Satellite constellation (MDASat-1) will be launched as part of US aerospace company SpaceX's Transporter-3 mission.

The launch is scheduled to take place from Cape Canaveral in the United States on 13 January 2022 at 17:25 South African time. This is the latest estimated time, and is subject to change depending on weather conditions.

Recover Together, Recover Stronger

6 January 2022

In her annual statement, Retno Masurdi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Indonesia quoted President Joko Widodo’s statement, at the reception of Indonesia’s G20 Presidency, last October in Rome: “Joint efforts for the recovery of the world economy; an inclusive, people-centered, environmentally friendly and sustainable growth; must be extraordinarily carried out, especially through stronger global collaboration and continuous innovation.”

She conveyed her gratitude for the trust and support given by IORA Member States throughout the selection process for the new IORA Secretary General. Ambassador Salman Al Farisi has been elected as Secretary General of IORA for the term of 2022 – 2024. Indonesia hopes that IORA could contribute towards the establishment of a strong Indian Ocean; which in turn will lead to ensuring a stable, peaceful, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.

Singapore and Merli at the 2021 Lawley Street Christmas Lights

17 December 2021

The Lawley Street Christmas Lights is a community event in the district of Waterkloof in Pretoria, the administrative capital of the Republic of South Africa. The tradition began in 1995 when a few residents got together and decided to decorate their residences for Christmas, as is tradition in many parts of the world, to usher in festive cheer into the neighbourhood. From 1 to 31 December, and from 7.00 pm to 11.00 pm, the beautiful houses along the 2-km street are festooned by lights of every colour, shape, and design, creating a beautiful, festive drive and stroll for both residents and visitors alike. These houses are the residences of both locals, as well as a few fortunate members of South Africa’s diplomatic community, who have their official residences on Lawley Street, including Singapore.

Bhutan's 114th National Day

Art by: Kinzang Tshering (KinzArt)

17 December 2021

A national day is generally observed to celebrate the nationhood of a country. In Bhutan, we celebrate the National Day on 17 December to mark the ascension of Gongsa Ugyen Wangchuck to the Golden Throne as the first unanimously elected (through an official Genja which spelled out the King’s mandate) hereditary Monarch of Bhutan. The signing of the Genja effectively consolidated Bhutan as a sovereign nation-state.

A Task Force of Russian Virologists arrive in South Africa

On 13 December 2021 an aircraft of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations (EMERCOM) carrying a group of experts as well as mobile lab and other medical equipment has arrived in RSA. Russian scientists, doctors of Rospotrebnadzor service and the Health Ministry of Russia and EMERCOM team have been deployed to South Africa to jointly carry out scientific research of СOVID-19 and its variants, exchange experience in combatting the spread of the coronavirus with South African counterparts.

Mpondo Reed Dance 2021 (umgubho wentombi zamaMpondo) educates about GBV, human trafficking and HIV/AIDS


by HRH Stella Sigcau

14 December 2021

Maidens from various parts of the Mpondo Kingdom on 11 December 2021 gathered at Bomvini Great Place, Lwandlolubomvu in Ntabankulu, for the annual Mpondo Reed Dance (Umgubho wentombi zamaMpondo). Mpondo Reed Dance was founded in 2008 to revive and promote the age old customary practice of amaMpondo which encourages young girls to preserve and take care of themselves, enjoy being young and not engage in activities that may compromise themselves and their future including engaging in sexual activities at an early age. The event was also launched to celebrate Mpondo culture and heritage as well as create awareness and educate about HIV/AIDS. The event is multi cultural as it is also attended by maidens from other Kingdoms and promotes unity in a diversity of cultures.

25 Years of the South African Constitution

Ronald Lamola, Minister of Justice and Correctional Services of South Africa

10 December 2021

The year 2021 marks a major milestone in the life of the South African nation; it marks the 25th Anniversary of the adoption of our country’s democratic Constitution. December 10 also marks International Human Rights Day. South Africa’s Constitution is one of the most internationally acclaimed constitutions in the world. It is widely acknowledged not only as one of the most progressive constitutions, but also as a transformative constitution with its primary concern being to facilitate change in political, economic and social relations in South Africa.

Former President, Nelson Mandela, signed the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa into law in Sharpeville, Gauteng on 10 December 1996. The signing of the Constitution in Sharpeville was a commemorative gesture in remembrance of the people who died during a peaceful demonstration against the vicious pass laws on 21 March 1960. The signed Constitution came into operation on 4 February 1997 and has since then drastically transformed the legal, political, social and economic landscape of the country.

Ebrahim Ebrahim – Farewell to a Gentle Revolutionary

Ann Linde, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden with Ambassador Lindiwe Mabuza and former Deputy Minister of International Relations of South Africa, Ebrahim Ebrahim (photo: twitter)

8 December 2021

Ebrahim Ismail Ebrahim (Ebie) was abducted by the Apartheid Police/National Intelligence Agency in December 1986, from Swaziland into South Africa. At his trial initially held in Piet Retief, his legal team was led by Professor Leonard Gering, a legal titan who was the former Dean of the Law Faculty of the University of Durban Westville. Because Prof Gering was classified as white he found accommodation in Piet Retief. However his colleagues and members of his legal team who were classified as black by the racist apartheid regime had to find accommodation across the border in Swaziland and traversed daily into South Africa and had to have their travel documents endorsed.

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