Womens Day 2021 fpg

by Dushiela

Dear Woman, the magnificence of your core beckons attention.
Patterned on the Mother, what divine qualities lie hidden within?
As the world tries to define you, your gaze is forced outward,
upward, downward; yet the greatest magic reveals itself inward.
Your essence whispers the shape of your identity; listen in the stillness.
For the voices that shout “you can’t do it”, what is your response?
For the voice inside that says “I can’t do it”; know the power of You.
Stand up and dance with this power to create a brighter dawn.
Sing your soul song loud and clear, radiating sunshine through your smile.
Honouring your creator self, flood the world with joyful expression.
You are not alone; play well with your sisters, laugh together in the rain.
Allow the hand of grace to quench your thirst and still your hunger.
The feminine is called to rise and shine brighter than ever before,
illuminating the terrain where great destinies continue to unfold.

A review of Dieter Brockmeyer’s book Pandemia’s Box

by Kirtan Bhana

27 February 2021

What has happened? What is happening? What is going to happen?

Dieter Brockmeyer’s book Pandemia’s Box is a must read and seems to be headed to becoming a bestseller. The author has found the perfect time to release his work and has metaphorically titled It to describe the pandemonium that the Covid 19 virus has unleashed on humanity and our sense of being. The opening of the proverbial Pandora’s Box has burst a bubble with a big bang.

Brockmeyer, in his affable writing style, examines the fallout, removes the veneers and presents a pragmatic overview of the situation and conditions and explains that wholistic, innovative and real solutions are required. He acknowledges that the book was not written to provide ‘silver bullets’ to the problems but he does reflect an optimistic perception that through trial and error, new inventions and innovations will lead to a new order of things in the world.

125 Years of Victory of ADWA inspires Pan Africanism
Dr Shiferaw Teklemariam, Ambassador of Ethiopia to South Africa at a media briefing

25 February 2021

At the media briefing hosted by the Ethiopian Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa, HE Ambassador Dr Shiferaw Teklemariam expressed the need for Africa to harness its own capabilities and develop a narrative of Africa - for Africa - by Africans. A united continent can solve anything and can be a leader in development without outside intervention, said Dr Teklemariam.

Referring to the victory of the battle of Adwa which is commemorated on March 2nd every year, it signifies a turning point in colonial era propagated history. Ethiopian patriots decisively defeated the Italian army who sought to impose their authority on Ethiopia’s international relations. This profound event stopped the colonisation and subjugation of Ethiopians. Records and monuments of its deep and ancient civilization and independence remains preserved through its written languages, culture and traditions.

Ambassador of Egypt sees South African cyclists off to Cairo

25 February 2021

Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt in South Africa, Ambassador Ahmed El Fadly, held an outdoor reception on 24 February at the premises of the Embassy of Egypt in Pretoria for a number of qualified South African cyclists participating in the two African championships, the African Road and Track championships which will take place in Cairo in March, 2021.

During the reception, El Fadly indicated the importance of the role of sports in people to people relationships and its contribution to consolidating the values of tolerance, cooperation and mutual respect. "Sports play a vital role for both the individual and for the society as whole, pushing the limits of human achievement." El Fadly said.

Japan celebrates the birthday of Emperor Naruhito
Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, MOTEGI Toshimitsu meeting with South Africa's Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor in Pretoria, South Africa (Photo: Jacoline Schoonees, Dirco)

23 February 2021

Today marks the 61st birthday of Emperor Naruhito of Japan and therefore Japan’s national day. He ascended to the throne on 1 May 2019 as the 126th Emperor of Japan.

This day would normally be celebrated in grand style but due to restrictions as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Ambassador Norio Maruyama of Japan held small intimate functions in Pretoria, South Africa to mark the occasion.The Diplomatic Society (DS) interviewed Ambassador Norio Maruyama (HE) on this ocassion who highlighted the strengthening Japan-South Africa relations.

DS: The year 2019 was a year of unprecedented splendour and importance for Japan-South Africa relations. The Rugby World Cup hosted in Japan was a great opportunity to tighten the bonds between the people of the two countries. Most notably, President Ramaphosa visited Japan three times during the year. It was an unprecedented event in the history of South Africa-Japan relations. Given all these remarkable developments, the year 2020 should have seen a further boost in relations between the two countries. However, due to COVID-19, numerous opportunities were lost. How have you mitigated these challenges?

Colombia and South Africa explore opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

16 February 2021

Under the leadership of H.E. Carlos Andrés Barahona Niño, Ambassador of Colombia in South Africa, a Memorandum of Understanding between Corporación Ruta N Medellin operator of the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution of Colombia (C4IR.CO) and The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), an entity of the Department of Science and Innovation of South Africa (DSI), was signed to unlock the potential of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, and to bolster research capacities in Colombia and South Africa.

The Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution of Colombia, affiliated to the World Economic Forum, C4IR.CO arising from an alliance between the Mayor's Office of Medellín and the National Government of Colombia.

Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine arrives in SA
The first delivery of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has landed at O R Tambo International Airport in Gauteng, South Africa. (Photo: Elmond Jiyane, GCIS)

17 February 2021

The first delivery of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine has arrived in South Africa.

The vaccine, which has been approved by the South African Health Products Authority, arrived at the O.R. Tambo International Airport in Gauteng on Tuesday night.

In a statement on Tuesday night, the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) said the consignment would be moved to a secure facility in Gauteng before being distributed to the various vaccine centres in all provinces.

Okonjo-Iweala to lead World Trade Organisation

16 February 2021

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been appointed the new chief of the World Trade Organization, becoming the first woman to ever lead the institution and the first African citizen to take on the role. In accepting the position she said that she would make global economic recovery from the pandemic a priority.

“It’s been a long and tough road, full of uncertainty, but now it’s the dawn of a new day and the real work can begin,” Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said in her acceptance speech.

Born in Nigeria, Okonjo-Iweala graduated from Harvard University in 1976 and then earned a PhD from MIT. She then became the first woman to take on the Nigerian finance ministry and the foreign ministry too. She was also the first female to run for the World Bank presidency, where she spent 25 years. She will assume her post at the WTO on March 1 for a renewable term expiring on August 31, 2025.

Outplaying the populists: A playbook for competitive African politics

More than two-thirds of Africans, the Afrobarometer polls show, favour democracy over other forms of government. Tapping into their support and presenting the opposition as an alternative rather than an enemy for the government to mobilise against, has to be the way to go.

by Ray Hartley and Greg Mills

16 February 2021

In the December 1999 election, Mozambique’s ruling Frelimo was in the fight of its political life against the opposition Renamo. Many accounts have it losing, but stealing, that election.

Although President Joaquim Chissano was officially re-elected with 52.3% of the vote, and Frelimo secured 133 of 250 parliamentary seats, opposition MDM MP Lutero Simango believes that things were skewed in the government’s favour. “Counting did not take place in Nacala [province]. No one knows those results till today. It is believed that if these votes had been counted that Frelimo would not have won.”

Simango and his brother Daviz, the mayor of Mozambique’s second city Beira, are both scions of Frelimo, sons of Uria Simango, a Presbyterian minister who was a founder member of the liberation movement back in 1962.

Celebrating Lunar New Year

12 February 2021

Today is Lunar New Year, also called Spring Festival. It begins with the first new moon of the lunar calendar and ends on the first full moon of the lunar calendar, 15 days later. The lunar calendar is based on the cycles of the moon, so the dates of the holiday vary slightly from year to year, beginning some time between January 21 and February 20 according to Western calendars.

Traditionally about 10 days before the beginning of the new lunar year, houses are thoroughly cleaned as a symbolic gesture of removing any bad omens and inviting new and refreshing energy, moods, thoughts and feelings. New Year’s celebrations include religious ceremonies honouring ancestors. Also on New Year’s day, family members receive red envelopes containing gifts of money. Dances and fireworks are prevalent throughout the holidays, culminating in the Lantern Festival, which is celebrated on the last day of the New Year’s celebrations. On this night colourful lanterns light up houses, and traditional foods like yuanxiao (sticky rice balls that symbolize family unity), fagao (prosperity cake), and yusheng (raw fish and vegetable salad) are enjoyed.

We wish you a happy, bountiful and peaceful Year of the Ox.

42nd Anniversary of the Iran revolution

11 February 2021
Statement by the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Pretoria, South Africa

On 10 February 2021 we celebrate the 42nd anniversary of the Iran revolution. Last year was one of the toughest years for the Iranian nation because of illegal sanctions and pressures. But Iran is not a country to be surrendered. Throughout history, Iran has been seen as a cradle of humanity, culture and science. Forty-two years ago, one of the most popular revolutions of the twentieth century achieved victory. Such a great development has not been far from hatred and enmity. But, despite various conspiracies and impediments by the enemies and all kinds of hostility such as the imposed war, sanctions, economic terrorism and demonization through world media against the Iranian nation and its government, the country has hit abundant scientific, economic and technological achievements.

South Africa plans to produce own vaccines

10 February 2021

At an early morning press briefing on February 10 by the Department of Health in South Africa, Minister Zweli Mkhize set the record straight with regards to inoculation and vaccinations against the Covid-19 virus. The vaccine produced under licence from Oxford University in England and AstraZeneca pharmaceutical company by the Serum Institute of India (SII) is not as effective when tested on the mutation and variants of the virus found in South Africa, explained Mkhize. The order for the vaccine was made before the new variant was discovered in South Africa. Due to the global demand for the vaccine, the South African government had to act timeously to secure a vaccine during this unprecedented pandemic. The vaccines expiration date is April 30, 2021 and the department is negotiating a swop of the vaccine or selling it off to another country and is even in talks with the WHO about what can be done.

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