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Ecuadorian gastronomy and culture

2 December 2019

Ecuador is known for its beautiful tapestry and hand woven designs. It is a country filled with artists of every genre and food that makes foodies want to stay just a bit longer.

When traveling to Ecuador, one can visit different regions that will offer one different types of cuisine as well as culture. It is a country filled with variety and each region is proud of its own creations. Ecuador is known for their variety of soups and each region will feed you. Some of the most famous dishes that Ecuador could offer you are its many arrays of soups, of which Ecuadorians are very proud. Some soups like Chupe de pescado, Locro, Sopa de bolas de verde and Yaguarlocro are well-known around the country.


King’s passing a reminder to use time wisely

29 November 2019

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the passing of His Majesty King Zwelonke Siqcawu is a reminder to people to use time wisely in performing good deeds and being of service to others.

“His Majesty’s passing is a reminder of the shortness of our life on this earth,” President Ramaphosa said.

Speaking at the funeral service of the late AmaXhosa King Zwelonke Siqcawu, held in Willovale, Ngadu, in the Eastern Cape, President Ramaphosa said as a nation, the country has lost a leader who was a pillar of the community and a solid partner of government.

“We are saddened, but we know that no matter how much we wish to, we cannot hold back the hand of fate. It was His Majesty’s time to leave us,” President Ramaphosa said.

He said the late King has left behind a legacy of visionary leadership that lives on.

“He may have passed on to the next life, but the example he set on the meaning of leadership, on advancing social cohesion, and on service to one’s fellow man and women, will be imparted beyond his brief time on earth,” he said.

President Ramaphosa described the late King as a leader whose impact and influence extended beyond the country’s borders.


Bird watching in Ecuador

28 November 2019

Ecuador is every birdwatcher's dream.

This country promises more than 500 species of birds which can be found in different regions of Ecuador. Each region is known for its own species and therefore birdwatchers tend to travel to certain regions. 

Photo: The Andean Condor.

There are a few places where one can go, from the Ecuadorian Amazon to the Galapagos Islands.

Species to be seen


Nursultan Nazarbayev – 'Leader of the Nation'

1 December 2019

Astana, the Kazakh capital was renamed Nursultan in tribute to Nursultan Nazarbayev the former President of this Central Asian nation. Nazarbayev chose to step down as President of Kazakhstan on March 19 2019, "I have taken the decision to refuse the mandate of the presidency," said 78 year old Leader of the Nation as he is fondly known. “I will be with you to serve until the end of my days,” he said. “I see my future task in ensuring a new generation of leaders.” Nazarbayev will continue to serve as the Chair of the Security Council of Kazakhstan and as leader of the ruling Nur Otan party.

Kazakhstan gained independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991 as did several other countries that made up this communist block of countries. Nursultan Nazarbayev was the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic in 1989 and was elected as the nation's first president following its independence.


Kazakhstan and South Africa – Differently Similar

30 November 2019

Mr Kanat Tumysh, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to South Africa, recently delivered a keynote address at a roundtable hosted at the Old College House at the University of Pretoria where the Centre of Governance Innovation – GovInn can be found. Dr Chris Nshimbi, the Director of GovInn, moderated the discussions which sought to discover governance innovation through an interaction between countries so far apart.

Photo: (l-r) Mr Yernur Tuyakbayev, Minister Counsellor, Mr Kanat Tumysh, Ambassador of Kazakhstan and Dr Chris Nshimbi, Director of GovInn

The Roundtable, ‘Kazakhstan and South Africa: Lessons of Building Constructive Public Dialogue as the Basis of Stability and Prosperity’, pointed out the stark reality of what people need and how the difference in historical, political, social and economic conditions combine for the greater good of their people, or not.


A Toilet is not just a Toilet

World Toilet Day at the United Nations

28 November 2019

Photography Marla Mossman, UN Correspondent,Text by Marla Mossman and
United Nations General Assembly November 19, 2019

Everyone was astonished to see the giant white Toilet balloon stationed in front of the United Nations General Assembly Building.

World Toilet Day is celebrated on 19th November every year. It’s all about inspiring action to tackle the global sanitation crisis and help achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6), which promises sanitation for all by 2030.


Belgium believes in South Africa

18 November 2019

Celebrating King’s Day in Pretoria Mr Didier Vanderhasselt, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to South Africa wished Princess Elisabeth a happy birthday. She turned 18 this year and is the first female heir to the Belgium throne. Sophie Wilmès is currently Prime Minister of Belgium and she is its first female head of government. And South Africa has its first gender equal cabinet. In a world where the focus is on gender equality, Belgium and South Africa seem to be making strides.

Photo: Mr Didier Vanderhasselt, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium, Mr Vusumuzi Mkhize, Director General of Sports, Arts and Culture and Fourie du Preez, a former Springbok with the University of Pretoria Youth Choir (Embassy of Belgium)

The University of Pretoria Youth Choir rendered the national anthems of both countries beautifully and went on to entertain guests with their attention-grabbing repertoire. They will participate in the World Choir Games which Belgium will host next year.


Once upon a time in Poland

14 November 2019

Mr Andrzej Kanthak, Ambassador of Poland in South Africa, started the celebrations with, “Once upon a time…” and explained how the celebration of Poland's regained independence came about.

Photo: Ambassador Kanthak pictured with musicians Joanna Maklakiewicz and Marek Bugajski (photo by Grazyna Koornhof)

For many years Polish people lived in a country that didn’t exist but Poland remained in their hearts. After its erasure, Poland returned to the map of the world on November 11, 1918 after enduring 123 years of occupation and November 11 became a state holiday in 1937. This holiday was lost after the Second World War and again officially restored in 1989 after the collapse of communism.


When everything seemed possible

9 November 2019

On the 9th of November 1989 the world was irreversibly changed when the Berlin Wall came down and everything seemed possible. It was a day marked by jubilation, not only in Germany but the world over. At the same time in South Africa apartheid was collapsing and three months later, in February 1990 Nelson Mandela was released from prison. “These events marked the moment in history when both our countries turned from oppression to freedom, from injustice to democracy, from despair to hope,” said Dr Martin Schäfer, Ambassador of Germany to South Africa.

Photo: Dr Martin Schäfer, Ambassador of Germany with Ms Sabine Dall'Omo, President of the Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce and Ms Barbara Creecy, SA Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries

The German Embassy and its partners organised a Deutschland Fest in Pretoria’s CBD to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Revellers were treated to music, theatre, art, debates, food and drink. The family day catered to everybody’s needs; there was even a fun corner for the kiddies and a corner to watch live Bundesliga soccer matches.


Escalating relations US SA

13 November 2019

One of the goals of newly-arrived Ambassador-designate of the USA, Mrs Lana Marks, is to ensure that women realize their full professional and economic potential.  Marks was speaking at a press briefing after landing on South African soil just 3 days before.

“The United States is piloting the Academy of Women Entrepreneurs here in South Africa and, through our TechWomen program we are bringing together emerging women leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics mentorships and exchange  programs. I will continue to advocate for women’s empowerment through these and other initiatives,” said Marks.

Marks was born in East London, South Africa and left for the USA in the 1970s. In 1987 she started her business from her kitchen table and has developed LANA MARKS fashion brand into an international brand with boutiques all across the world.


Gotabaya Rajapaksa Newly elected president of  Sri Lanka

By Srimal  Fernando

17 November 2019

Former Sri Lankan defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa was declared victorious in Sri Lanka after a closely fought election, as his main opponent Sajith Premadasa of the ruling United National Party (UNP) conceded defeat.

Rajapaksa’s victory, gaining 6,924,255 votes with 52.25% of total votes cast appears to bring new hope to the South Asian nation.

His father, DA Rajapaksa was a prominent politician in the 1960s in the Wijeyananda Dahanayake government and also a founding member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. In 2005, he was appointed to the post of defence secretary by his brother Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa


Vienna Ball in Cape Town

11 November 2019

On November 1st the first VIENNA BALL in Cape Town was organized at the Belmont Mount Nelson Hotel in style.

The VIENNA BALL in Cape Town was a special greeting from Vienna, the city on the Danube and that was recently voted, yet again, the most livable city in the world, to the mother city Cape Town, the city of culture and joy of life.

Photo: Ambassador Johann Brieger and Roswitha Brieger on the dance floor (Embassy of Austria)

The ball was a collaboration between the ‘City of Vienna’, ‘Austrian Airlines’,  the world-famous ‘Spanish Riding School in Vienna’ and 'echo media Vienna'. Trainers from the Spanish Riding School performed with Lipizzan horses at the hotel lawns.


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January/February 2020










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