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Farewell to a true leader, a great son of Africa, Kenneth Kaunda

Thabiso Magodielo with President Kenneth Kaunda

A tribute by Thabiso Magodielo, Diplomatic Society’s Travel Specialist

18 June 2021

You fought the good fight and ran a good race.

I will always remember and cherish the warm welcome I received when visiting you at your home in Zambia. I will also remember your kindness, humility, energy and warmth. I will never forget how you prayed for me and entertained me with your musical talent, while we were planning the launch of the annual Kenneth Kaunda Golf Day.

You became a father figure to me when I discovered you shared the same birthday, date and year with my dad, bless his soul. So sentimental to think that you and my father would have been twins.

Roundtable on Sustainability - From The Maldives to the World

18 June 2021

As we figure out how our future world will look like, it is important that we do not lose a sense of perspective, in reference to the all-important 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, which, if achieved, will provide a prosperous life for everybody, and ensure the health of our planet.

No country can achieve them alone, a combined effort and international solidarity and teamwork is key.

We need fresh and innovative ideas as we adapt to new circumstances, and this hybrid roundtable contributed to this, sharing inputs, ideas and expertise to build a better world, a world we want to leave behind to our children and grandchildren.

Africa-Asia Inter Regional

18 June 2021

Compiled by Dr Srimal Fernando and Kirtan Bhana

In recent months, African and Asian nations have been influenced by several internal and external factors. Certain regional blocs in Africa and Asia have made notable steps aimed at promoting regional cooperation amongst member states which requires a common economic commitment. The advantages of regional integration are diverse; hence increased interdependence in the financial and economic sectors has provided the impetus for deeper cooperation. In this regard, efficient regional integration is crucial for promoting interdependence among regional bloc countries and in reducing dependence on other external factors.

‘Poverty is not a characteristic of Socialism’ Deng Xiaoping

A webinar commemorating 100 years of the CPC and SACP was hosted by ChinAfrica magazine and the Diplomatic Society on 15 June. The webinar can be viewed here

17 June 2021

By Kirtan Bhana

100 is a significant milestone, even though both China and Africa have histories that stretch back many millennia to ancient times. The period 1921 to 2021 is the century that could be considered an epoch in technological and societal transition and transformation. It is also the centenary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the South African Communist Party (SACP).

The emergence of China under the stewardship of the CPC has been as  profound as the communist doctrines. Only recently did President Xi announce that China has achieved its goal of lifting everyone in the country out of poverty, a goal many wealthy nations have not yet been able to achieve.

From Soweto to Silwan, youth lead the struggle

By Hanan Jarrar, Ambassador of Palestine to South Africa

16 June 2021

Today is Youth Day in South Africa. On June 16, 1976 South Africa’s shabab stood up to apartheid’s guns and resisted racism.

I feel the spirit of Soweto in Silwan, in Sheikh Jarrar, in Khan Younis and from Lydda to Akka. Palestinian youth – regardless of whether they are in Jerusalem, Jaffa, Jericho or Jenin – are leading the way in a united resistance against Israel’s attempts to erase Palestine and Palestinians. They are saying that all of historic Palestine is under some form of occupation, and that it must end.

Securing a brighter future for youth

15 June 2021

With South Africa commemorating Youth Day this week, government is set to announce additional measures intended to improve the lives of young people.

“This week, on Youth Day, we will be launching a range of additional measures to create opportunities, enhance skills development, support young entrepreneurs and enable the full participation of young people in the economy,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday.

Addressing South Africans in his weekly newsletter, the President said the measures that will be launched include the establishment of a National Pathway Management Network, SA Youth, to make it easier for young people to view and access opportunities, and receive active support to find pathways into the labour market.

Colombia and Africa, hand in hand

Dr Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, Chief Executive Officer of NEPAD, Mrs Angela Ospina de Nicholls of the Presidential Agency for International Cooperation (APC - Colombia) and Mr Carlos Andres Barahona Niño, Ambassador of Colombia to South Africa

10 June 2021

The President of Colombia Mr Ivan Duque Marquez sent his General Director, Mrs. Angela Ospina de Nicholls, of the Presidential Agency for International Cooperation (APC - Colombia) to enhance relations with the African continent. The envoy concluded an agreement between APC-Colombia and the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) at a signing ceremony held at their headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Speaking with the Diplomatic Society Mrs Ospina de Nicholls and Mr Carlos Andres Barahona Niño, Colombia’s Ambassador to South Africa said the agreement is considered as a milestone in Colombia-Africa relations based on the principals of South-South Cooperation (SSC). Even though the geographic distances between the two are great they share a common history. As a matter of fact around one fifth of Colombians are Afro descendants.

Explore the Philippines

11 June 2021

The celebration of the anniversary of Philippine Independence on June 12 every year has always been an opportunity for the Philippine Embassy to gather its friends and partners to give them the Filipino experience here in Pretoria. Unfortunately, the pandemic goes on and we are forced to socially distance from each other.

But true to the indomitable and resilient spirit of the Filipino, we, at the Embassy, firmly believe that we can still virtually celebrate this important milestone of Philippine nationhood.

Cuba and South Africa sign Cultural Cooperation Agreement

Ambassador Rodolfo Benitez Verson of Cuba and Minister Nathi Mthetwa signing the agreement

10 June 2021

As part of the celebrations of the 27th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between South Africa and Cuba, the South African Minister of Sport, Art and Culture Nathi Mthetwa and the Cuban Ambassador to South Africa, Rodolfo Benítez Verson, signed an Intergovernmental Agreement for Cooperation and Cultural Exchange between both countries.

The implementation of the agreement will allow increasing and consolidating cultural cooperation between Cuba and South Africa, through the organization in both countries of cultural workshops, music and film festivals, as well as artistic events of folk and contemporary dance, classical ballet, painting, and sculpture, among other modalities.

Resolving SA's energy challenge

10 June 2021

In an effort to resolve the country’s energy supply shortfall and reduce the risk of load shedding, President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced an intervention intended to achieve energy security.

“Following an extensive public consultation process and a significant amount of technical work undertaken by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, we will be amending Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act to increase the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) licensing threshold for embedded generation projects from 1 MW to 100 MW,” the President said.

Towards a Greener planet – COP 26


10 June 2021

From 11 - 13 June British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gathers leaders of G7 nations, the EU and guest countries to unite, leading democracies to help the world fight and then build back better from COVID-19, and create a greener, more prosperous future.

At the end of October Johnson will host leaders again at the COP 26 summit taking place in Glasgow, Scotland together with their Italian partners. COP stands for Conference of the Parties that are the signatories of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) - a treaty agreed on in 1994 which has 197 Parties (196 countries and the EU).

African Union Launches World’s Largest Single Electricity Market 

9 June 2021

The African Union officially launched the African Single Electricity Market (AfSEM), the world’s largest continent-wide energy trading program meant to interconnect all 55 African Union Member States through efficient, affordable, and sustainable electricity market. The event took place on 3rd of June 2021.

Held virtually due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the launching ceremony was attended by high profile officials of the African Union Commission (AUC) including H.E. Dr. Monique Nsanzabaganwa the Deputy Chairperson and H.E. Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid Infrastructure and Energy Commissioner, dignitaries from the 55-Member States, representatives of AU Specialized Institutions, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and their institutions as well as development partners and the media, among others. The European Union, which supported the AU in designing AfSEM was represented by the EU Commissioner for Energy, H.E. Mrs. Kadri Simson.

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