Ghana’s election: A play for change or continuity

7 December 2020

On 7 December, Ghanaians go to the polls. On one side of the political spectrum is the call for continuity — four more years for incumbent president Nana Akufo-Addo — and on the other is a call for change, or more likely, back to the old, with former president John Mahama.


by Marie-Noelle Nwokolo, Researcher, The Brenthurst Foundation


Ghana’s election will be one of a dozen others on the continent in 2020. So far, the trend has been mixed with countries like Malawi demonstrating the power of independent and transparent institutions while others like Tanzania are doing a dangerous dance away from their commitment to democratic values. Ghana’s elections need to be free, just and incorruptible, not merely to demonstrate its leadership on the African continent, but to uphold the hard-fought-for Fourth Republic, especially in light of the recent passing of its flawed giant, Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings.

A sacred land at peace with itself?
Ambassador Hanan Jarrar of Palestine, Deputy Minister Alvin Botes of South Africa, Deputy Minister Machesetsa Mofomobe of Lesotho and Ambassador Salim Ali Zakwani of Oman (Photo by Jacoline Schoonees, Dirco)


7 December 2020

Palestine was a secular land before November 29, 1947. It was on this day that the newly established United Nations (UN) divided the land to create Israel. In a twist of irony it also became the day the United Nations pledged solidarity with the Palestinian people. 73 years later the pledge is still commemorated as the conflict caused by the division still rages on.

Israel continues unabated to develop settlements on Palestinian land as they have not declared their international borders, while Palestinians hope for a secular state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

‘Politics, Economics and Connectivity: In Search of the South Asian Union’

a book authored by Dr Srimal Fernando

Politics, Economics and Connectivity: In Search of the South Asian Union, a book authored by Dr Srimal Fernando develops a powerful framework for the analysis of regional integration in South Asia that informs the policy-making apparatus of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. An in depth knowledge of South Asia’s history, politics and its people across all classes of society has been an innate motivator for the author in penning down his findings.

The successful governance of China

2 December 2020

Having gradually opened up the Peoples Republic of China to the world over the past several decades the country has created a new dynamic in world affairs. Their ideology of solidarity and the benefit for the collective will always be the basis of a governance model that has enabled a nation to re-invent itself, adapting to circumstances and situations.

In South Africa, HE Chen Xiaodong, recently accredited Ambassador of China to South Africa, launched the 3rd edition of President Xi Jinping’s book ‘The Governance of China’. A digital seminar organized by the National Press Club and hosted by its Chairperson Val Boje with the participation of prominent and eminent persons made for an informative discussion.

The Beauty of Batik and Seshweshwe

1 December 2020

The aesthetic of fashion is forever evolving and in today’s globalised world traditions and cultures are crossing over to create new and exciting trends.

In Pretoria, the Indonesia Embassy collaborated with the Tshwane North TVET College and initiated a competition with the theme "The Beauty of Batik and Seshweshwe: A Collaboration of Creativity in South African Bride Fashion Design"

The competition kicked off in September 2020 and coincided with Heritage Day on 24 September in South Africa and Batik Day in Indonesia which falls on 2 October.

Eight students from the vocational college successfully completed their designs of a South African wedding dress which combined traditional Indonesian Batik with traditional South African Seshweshwe fabric. The designs were presented to judges in two stages, on 19 and 25 November.

R1.3m ploughed into environmentally friendly youth projects

30 November 2020

Thirteen youth-led projects are set to benefit from the Driving Force for Change initiative, intended for projects that tackle issues of climate change, waste management and biodiversity loss.

“This initiative, worth R1.3 million, announced on Youth Day this year, responded to the President’s challenge to South Africa’s youth to craft and design programmes that will make the country reach its developmental goals and address the unemployment crisis,” Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Barbara Creecy said.

On Thursday, the Minister announced 13 successful projects for the Driving Force for Change initiative at the South African National Biodiversity Institute in Pretoria.

Driving Diplomacy by Kirtan Bhana

Multifunctional Mahindra Pickup

30 November 2020

The new Mahindra’s 4x4 Pick Up has a go anywhere, workhorse like attitude, and is ideally suited for diplomatic humanitarian missions, especially for the African terrain. The mHwak 2.2litre turbo diesel 103kw power train that delivers 320Nm of torque effortlessly carries a 1000kg payload and has a 2500kg towing capacity. The practical double cab design and strong build quality will easily carry a crew for philanthropic activities of supply and food distribution, medical care and even cultural, sport and education missions.

United Nations Day of International Solidarity with the Palestinian People

by Hanan Jarrar, Ambassador of Palestine to South Africa

29 November 2020

Dear Friends and Collegues,
It is an honour for me to be in South Africa - a land characterised by the isiZulu expression “Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu.” It means “a person is a person through other people. I am, because you are.” A common humanity is needed more than ever as the world is confronted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

I address you on the occasion of the United Nations Day of International Solidarity with the Palestinian People which is commemorated every year on 29th November. The United Nations Day of International Solidarity with the Palestinian People is a stark reminder to the world that Israel’s occupation of Palestine continues and that the Palestinian people have yet to attain their state. We remain trapped in a non-state with no rights, land or citizenship.

Emotional tribute to Fidel Castro, leader of the Cuban Revolution
Photo: (from left) Ambassador Mairin Moreno Mérida of Venezuela and Ambassador Rodolfo Benítez Verson of Cuba at the wreath laying in front of the Wall of Names at Freedom Park

26 November 2020

The Embassy of Cuba in South Africa held activities at Freedom Park in Pretoria to pay tribute to the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, as part of the commemorations for the fourth anniversary of his physical departure.

A solemn ceremony in front of the "Wall of Names", a historic site where the name of the Commander-in-Chief is inscribed and of 2 289 Cuban internationalist martyrs who offered their lives in the liberation struggles on the African continent, began the activities.

South Korea donates testing kits and PPE to assist South Africa in its fight against Covid-19
Photo: (l-r) Youngki Yun(Counsellor), Bongkyu Choi(Minister Counsellor), Lebogang Lebetse (Chief Director) and Hassina Suber

25 November 2020

The official handover ceremony for the donation of 17,000 testing kits and 50,000 face masks valued at 4,600,000 Rand(300,000 US dollars) by the Government of the Republic of Korea was held at the National Department of Health on Wednesday, 25 November 2020. The donation was made in assistance to the Covid-19 pandemic response in the Republic of South Africa.

Give South Africa some space says South Korea’s Ambassador

24 November 2020

“I am very sad to be leaving South Africa and the African continent," said Dr Jong-Dae Park. His posting to South Africa as Ambassador of the Republic of Korea comes to an end as he returns home to take up a professorship as he retires from an illustrious career as a diplomat in the foreign-service for his country. He shares his thoughts, experiences and highlights of his Ambassadorship with Kirtan Bhana, Founding Editor of The Diplomatic Society in this exit interview.

"South Korea will always be grateful for the role played by South Africa and Ethiopia in supporting the war that enabled our country to acquire its independence, freedom and the democracy we enjoy today.” Ambassador Park was referring to the ideological conflict between 1950 and 1953 that led to the division of the Korean peninsula into North and South at the 38th parallel. A demilitarized zone still exists today as a grim reminder of a division which tore a nation apart.

South African Royal Princesses unite against Gender Based Violence

By HRH Stella Sigcau

24 November 2020

Royal Princesses from various parts of South Africa have come together under the banner South African Princess Network (SAPN) to condemn Gender Based Violence (GBV). As part of their 16 days of activism campaign they will use their voices on various platforms to create awareness in this regard whilst also engaging in various projects to empower women.

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