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Recycled Instruments make magic

4 November 2019

‘The world sends us garbage. We send back music’

The Orchestra of Recycled Instruments of Cateura, started by Favio Chavez, recently performed in South Africa. Cateura is a suburb in Asunción, the capital of Paraguay which is built on a landfill site. Chavez came to the town as an engineer and in his spare time started teaching music. Soon realising that musical instruments were unaffordable, he came up with the idea to fashion these needed instruments out of the garbage from the landfills.

Photo: Members of the Orchestra of Recycled Instruments of Cateura, with their Director Favio Chavez, Mr Roberto Recalde, Charge d'Affairs of the embassy of Paraguay and members of the Paraguayan community

Mr Roberto Recalde, Charge d'Affairs of the embassy of Paraguay in South Africa said that this is the Orchestra’s first performance on African soil.


Austria – SA trade to exceed EUR 1billion

28 October 2019

Dr. Johann Brieger, Ambassador of the Republic of Austria to South Africa and Mrs. Roswitha Brieger hosted a reception to celebrate the Austrian National Day in Pretoria, South Africa. They are pictured cutting the celebratory cake.

Austria has many achievements to celebrate including Vienna being ranked the most liveable city in the world for the 10th year in a row and Salzburg, Austria, being named Lonely Planet's top city to visit in 2020.

Tourism between Austria and South Africa is growing and flights to Austria from Cape Town were recently resumed.

Dr Brieger said that trade between the two countries will exceed EUR 1 billion this year.

South Africa is Austria’s most important trading partner in Africa. The ongoing increase in trade and the development of commercial ties between Austria and South Africa in key areas - such as the automotive sector, the development of infrastructure, renewable energy and tourism - are steadily on the increase.


Russia-Africa Summit a success

27 October 2019

President Cyril Ramaphosa has wrapped up his working visit to the Russian Federation, where he attended the inaugural Russia-Africa Summit.

Photo: SA President Cyril Ramaphosa delivering an address during plenary of the first Russia-Africa Summit held in Sochi in the Russian Federation (Kopano Tlape GCIS)

At the end of the two-day high-level engagement, the President described the gathering as a meaningful interaction, which “exceeded” his expectation.

“This has been a successful summit. It started off with the business sectors from various countries in Africa interacting with the Russian business sector in an exchange that was most productive.

“The businesses that came from South Africa spanned a number of sectors of the economy, and their engagement with Russian businesses in mining and Information Communication Technology (ICT) and oil extraction, amongst others, were quite meaningful,” President Ramaphosa said.

The summit, which was attended by more than 40 African leaders from 23 – 24 October 2019 in Sochi, aimed to intensify and enhance Russia’s cooperation with African countries at bilateral and multilateral levels.


10 years of EAP

17 October 2019

One of the very first tasks for European Union Ambassador Dr Riina Kionka to South Africa was participating in a panel discussion on the 10th Anniversary of the EU’s Eastern Partnership (EAP) and the European Neighbourhood policy: Lessons from Eastern Europe and Africa.  As there is no unanimous decision on the expansion of the EU, the EAP policy outlines its relationship with the post-Soviet states of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.

On the panel (pictured l-r) were Mr Beka Dvali, Ambassador of Georgia, Mr Yamin Jafarli ,  Charge d’Affaires of Azerbaijan, Mrs Riina Kionka, Ambassador of the European Union, Ms. Elizabeth Sidiropoulos, Chief Executive, SAIIA Mr Kari Alanko, Ambassador of Finland, Ms Liubov Abravitova, Charge d'Affaires of Ukraine and Mr. Alexander D. Sidoruk, Ambassador of Belarus

The discussion organized by the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) in Pretoria included presentations by the Embassies of Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine who have representation in South Africa.


Spain is betting on South Africa

15 October 2019

Mr. Carlos Fernández-Arias, Ambassador of Spain to South Africa hosted a celebration on the occasion of the National Day of the Kingdom of Spain in Pretoria. In his remarks Ambassador Fernández-Arias said that the relations between Spain and South Africa are strong and growing.

Photo: Mr. Carlos Fernández-Arias, Ambassador of Spain with Mr Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Home Affairs of SA

Bilateral relations between the two countries are serviced through the South Africa-Spain Annual Consultations held at Deputy Ministerial level and anchored through a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2000.

On the trade front, Spain is one of South Africa’s major trading partners in the European Union. In 2016, the overall volume of trade amounted to R32.3 billion, with imports amounting to R19.5 billion and exports amounting to R12.8 billion.

There are 100 Spanish companies that have invested in South Africa and they are estimated to have created over 12 000 jobs largely in renewable energy and metals sectors.


Karate a key to international exposure for rural youth

By Stella Sigcau

1 November 2019

Karate in Mbizana in the Eastern Cape has gained prominence amongst rural young people providing a key to a better life as well as an opportunity for international exposure. In November 2018, Mbizana karate members formed part of the South African team that participated in the divisional tournament held every four years in China. The team brought back 5 trophies. Mbizana Municipality is very involved and support participation of Mbizana youth in karate both locally and internationally, for example participation in the karate development tournament and training camps held annually by International Karate Organization (IKO) Matsushima which target children from 8 years to 17 years of all genders. The Municipality holds the Mayors Cup annually targeting under 19 years olds in about 8 sports codes including karate.


Pandor calls on NAM to uphold multilateralism

27 October 2019

South African International Relations and Cooperation Minister Dr Naledi Pandor has called on Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to strengthen the principles of multilateralism and consolidate the rule of law.

Pandor was speaking at the 18th NAM Summit held in Baku, Azerbaijan, from 25-26 October 2019. The summit was held under the theme “NAM Baku Summit – Upholding the Bandung Principles to ensure concerted and adequate response to the challenges of the contemporary world.”

Pandor said the summit came at a crucial juncture as NAM reaffirms the founding principles of political self-determination, sovereignty, non-aggression, non-interference in the internal affairs of others and the promotion of equality -- all to support the efforts of developing countries in promoting peace and cooperation in the world.


Japan shows off sound of Yamaha

19 October 2019

Talented students from the Department of Music at the University of Pretoria showed off their talent on a recently tuned Yamaha piano at the residence of Mr Norio Maruyama, Ambassador of Japan in South Africa. Guests enjoyed Mozart, Haydn, Liszit amongst others.

Photo: Mr Norio Maruyama, Ambassador of Japan pictured with musicians Natascha Mertz, Elri Myburgh and Colette du Toit (Ryan Keet, Embassy of Japan)

Anton Stella from Yamaha South Africa took guests through a brief journey of the history of Yamaha. The first piano to be made in Japan was an upright built in 1900 by Torakusu Yamaha, founder of Nippon Gakki Co., Ltd. — later renamed Yamaha Corporation.


Vietnam extends a hand to South Africa

1 November 2018

A high level delegation from Vietnam will arrive in South Africa this weekend, after visiting Nigeria and Cameroon.

The delegation - led by Deputy Prime Minister, Dr Vuong Dinh Hue, Politburo member of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) - will hold a number of meetings aimed at promoting bilateral relations.

Photo: Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Dr Vuong Dinh Hue addressing an event in Hanoi. He leads a delegation to South Africa this weekend.

Diplomatic ties between the two countries were signed in 1993, with Vietnam opening an embassy in Pretoria in 2000.

The Vietnamese economy, led by its agriculture sector, was ravaged by the consequences of the Vietnam War, and poverty in the country was rife. However the “Doi Moi” (Renovation) policy adopted in the mid-1980’s changed its economy from a centrally planned model to an open market one, and the business environment improved.


Peace Builder

22 October 2019

A leader of inclusiveness, a leader of delivery, a leader with a deep attachment  with Ethiopians and a peace builder among neighbourhood nations and beyond.  These are Dr Shiferaw Teklemariam,  Ambassador of Ethiopia in South Africa’s praises for Nobel Peace Prize recipient Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia at a celebration in his honour.

Pictured cutting the celebratory cake are (l-r) Mr Chua Thai Keong, High Commissioner of Singapore, Dr. Martha Tilahun, Honorary Consul of Ethiopia to Namibia,  Mr Bene M’Poko, Dean of the diplomatic corps and Ambassador of the DRC, Dr. Shiferaw Teklemariam, Ambassador of Ethiopia, Mr Mbulelo Bungane, East Africa Chief Director of DIRCO, Ms Nardos Bekele Thomas, UN Resident Coordinator and Mrs Astrid Emilie Helle, Ambassador of Norway

In awarding Prime Minister Abiy the Peace Prize, the Norwegian Nobel Committee in a statement said,  “ The Norwegian Nobel Committee has awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2019 to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea. The prize is also meant to recognise all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions.


Turkey and South Africa strengthen relations in Health

29 October 2019

It is on the 29th of October in 1923 that modern Turkey was born out of the ashes of the Ottoman Empire, following a war of independence. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was elected the first president of the Republic of Turkey by unanimous vote.

Mrs Elif Çomoğlu Űlgen, Ambassador of Turkey (pictured) hosted a reception at Turkish House in Pretoria, to celebrate the 96th anniversary of the founding of modern Turkey.

Ambassador Űlgen said that she was pleased to host the event at a time when South Africa – Turkey relations were flourishing in various fields including health, defence and tourism.

Ambassador Űlgen, that evening, saw off Dr Zweli Mkhize, South Africa’s Health Minister, who participated in the Health Information Management System Society Health IT Conference and Exhibition in Istanbul, Turkey. While there Dr Mkhize met with his counterpart, Dr Fahrettin Koca as South Africa and Turkey continue to strengthen bilateral relations in Health.


Guatemala Embassy inaugurated

30 October 2019

In compliance with the Foreign Policy of the President of the Republic of Guatemala Jimmy Morales, which encourages the strengthening of the Nation's Diplomatic Relations, Foreign Minister, Ambassador Sandra Jovel, embarked on an Official Visit to the City of Pretoria, Republic of South Africa.

Pictured cutting the ribbon are (l-r) Ambassador Mxolisi Bona, Chief Director: Mexico, Central America, the Andean Community and the Caribbean at Dirco, Ambassador Erick Escobedo and Foreign Minister Sandra Jovel

On the 21st of October 2019 the Guatemalan Embassy in the Republic of South Africa was inaugurated.

Erick Escobedo was appointed Ambassador of Guatemala and presented his credentials to President Ramaphosa on 15 October. Ambassador Escobedo aims to strengthen the bonds of fruitful corporation between the two countries.


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February/March 2020

















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