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Qatar Pledges $10 Million for WHO to Combat COVID-19 Pandemic

29 June 2020

HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani announced on Saturday that the State of Qatar pledged $10 million to the World Health Organization (WHO) to support the finding of testing equipment, treatment, and vaccine for the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), in addition to its $20 million contribution to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI).

His Excellency said, during his participation in a COVID-19 commitments campaign held through video conference by non-profit organization Global Citizen, that the State of Qatar was proud to support 'Global Goal: Unite for Our Future' campaign. His Excellency expressed the State of Qatar's thanks to the European Commission and to Global Citizen for partnering on the campaign.

HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said that the novel Coronavirus pandemic was not just testing the healthcare systems, educational systems, and economies around the world, but also testing human principles and the ability to respond quickly by show solidarity across borders.


Kaiser Motaung Jnr Foundation donates food packages in the Mpondo Kingdom

by HRH Stella Sigcau

25 June 2020

Kaizer Motaung Jnr, the son of Kaizer Chiefs FC founder Kaizer Motaung Snr, on 23 June 2020 led a delegation to Lwandlolubomvu Great Place, Ntabankulu in the Mpondo Kingdom. He donated 400 food packages and masks to families that have been affected by poverty and Covid-19 through the Kaiser Motaung Jnr Foundation.

The Foundation which was founded by the former Kaizer Chiefs FC striker has been hard at work donating to various communities which have been hit hard especially by Covid-19 and poverty nationwide reaching out also to the remote rural areas of the country. The Lwandlolubomvu Royal Family had requested assistance to support families affected by Covid-19 and poverty in the Lwandlolubomvu Administrative Area. The Foundation heeded to this call through these donations including to the soccer teams in the areas.


30 years after Nelson Mandela's Release

By  Srimal  Fernando

25 June 2020

Thirty years have passed since Mandela’s walk to freedom out of Victor Verster Prison on 11 February 1990. The television footage of the anti-apartheid campaigner’s release is still fresh in our memories. On that day in a speech broadcast live around the world Mandela quoted his own words during the Rivonia trial in 1964 which he said were true on that day as they were back then, “I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”


Inti Raymi 2020

  22 June 2020

The festival of Inti Raymi is a celebration of life that takes place on the 21st of June each year in Ecuador. This celebration coincides with the solstice and Ms Maria Soledad Cordova Montero, Ambassador of Ecuador to South Africa has made it a tradition to celebrate this day in Pretoria with friends. This year South Africa is under lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic so the celebration had limited guests who were treated to a video of Inti Raymi and Ecuador Tourism and gifted Ecuadorian chocolates, arguably, the best chocolate in the world.

This is a time of the year when people come together to share their gratitude for the bounty of Mother Earth with a variety of colourful traditional rituals which include dance, dress, music and food.


Sanitizing the Air

20 June 2020

Human beings are fragile living creation’s, whom all live on a beautiful planet which is divided into various continents, with different languages, cultures and creeds, having one fundamental common thread, we are all exposed to viruses, diseases and natural disasters.
The earth in all of its majesty, wonder and splendour, does not respect, status, governments, your standing in society, creeds or cultures and the current coronavirus pandemic is testament to the fragility of all human beings.

Life as we knew it, has certainly changed and we are now chartering in unknown waters, as scientist throughout the world are yet to conclusively discover the origins of the coronavirus and they are racing with urgency to produce a vaccine to defeat this deadly virus and to save humanity, one conundrum though, medical science sadly; does not have a cure for the coronavirus.

The result, a war is currently being waged against this invisible enemy, whom has no respect for borders or sovereignties and the world is gripped by fear and rightfully so, especially knowing that there is no cure for covid-19. Our natural human instincts for survival are activated, self-preservation and the protection of our families become the focal point and priority for all individuals.


New members elected to UNSC

19 June 2020

Mexico, India, Ireland, Norway and Kenya have been elected to take up a two-year term on the United Nations Security Council.

Canada lost out to Ireland and Norway in the council's "Western European and others" group. India and Mexico's uncontested bids for the Asia-Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean seats were approved. Kenya and Djibouti failed to gain enough support in the first round. Kenya won the Africa spot in the second round with 129 votes against 69.

Candidates need to win the support of more than two-thirds of the UN General Assembly.

The United Nations Security Council has 15 members: five permanent members — China, France, Russian Federation, the United States, and the United Kingdom — and 10 non-permanent members who are elected by the General Assembly. The non-permanent members are elected for two-year terms, so every year, the General Assembly elects five non-permanent members out of the total 10.


The Coronacles of 2020

by Nazrana Jassat - The Barefoot Narrator

Consumed by greed
vanity and lust
Deceit and power
A world without trust

Divisions and walls
Stirring up hate
Polluting the earth
Tempting their fate

Slaves to a system
So fragile and thin
Where the masses suffer
And a small fraction win

Devouring content
Of InstaChat lives
Unplugging connection
With husbands and wives


35 Years of SAARC

17 June 2020

By Srimal Fernando

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) has laid a firm foundation for South Asians to continue in effective integration to sustain the   mandate and improve member nation’s position in the international community. Over the decades, various success stories have been witnessed by SAARC.

The SAARC has taken a more neutral approach in its regional initiatives and the national interests and policies have influenced the external policies of the member states.

Therefore, the responsibility of SAARC regional grouping is to facilitate a conducive political environment among member nations to deepen trade ties with key economic partners. For example SAARC Food Security Reserve which was set up in 1988, SAARC Social Charter adopted in 2004 and the SAARC Regional Centers with specific mandates in order to fulfill its many functions on member nations are some of the notable accomplishments that helps improve the regional organisation‘s transformation story.


Mpondo Culture and Heritage Festival goes digital to create awareness on Covid-19

by HRH Stella Sigcau

16 June 2020

The Virtual Mpondo Festival digital Covid-19 Awareness Competition was launched during Youth Month to create awareness around the corona virus, support young upcoming artists, as well as promote Mpondo culture and heritage.

Artists in South Africa have been affected immensely by the lockdown due to Covid-19. The South African government has embarked on providing assistance for artists through initiatives by provincial and national departments. This initiative sought to add a hand in assisting in this regard.

Young artists were invited to submit their videos online showcasing their craft in isiMpondo through dance, poetry, song and comedy thus expressing their culture and heritage with the following themes: wearing masks, washing hands, social distancing and sanitizing. The public were to participate by voting online for their favourite contestant.


Celebrating the Youth in South Africa

By Tariq Ali Faraj Al-Ansari, Ambassador of the State of Qatar to South Africa

16 June 2020

I would like to congratulate the young generation of South Africa on the occasion of Youth Day, while I also congratulate South Africa’s leadership and all its people.

When I started my tenure as Ambassador of the State of Qatar to South Africa, I was impressed with the youth ration in the country which is very similar to the youth ration in my country: a third of the population in both our countries.

Therefore, celebrating this day in South Africa is wise and objective policy in the rainbow nation. South African youth played the essential role in liberating their country and achieving the momentum of freedom in 1994.

Youth are key to development and are supposed to be imperative driver of efficiency. An imperative mechanism of achieving this development would depend on enhancing the quality and efficiency of both the young individual and the institution.


Russia Day

12 June 2020

Address by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of South Africa and the Kingdom of Lesotho H.E. Mr.Ilya Rogachev on the occasion of Russia’s National Day

Dear friends!

Today we celebrate Russia Day – our national holiday. On this day, 30 years ago, the declaration of state sovereignty of RSFSR (Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic) was adopted, which marked the beginning of the modern Russian statehood.

We turned a new page of the thousand-years-long history of a country that enjoys unique cultural legacy, rich traditions and numerous triumphs achieved both in times of peace and war. Through heroic efforts of peoples of Russia we have created powerful industry, explored outer space, gained victories in sport. 75 years ago the peoples of the USSR liberated numerous European countries from the “brown plague” by breaking the backbone of Nazism. As history shows, Russia always succeeds and emerges victorious when its citizens put national interests above their individual.

Today’s holiday is celebrated in all regions, in each and every Russian city from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok. Sevastopol and Crimea are celebrating Russia Day for the sixth time this year.

Furthermore, today’s holiday is an occasion to celebrate for those who live on different continents, in different countries, including South Africa, yet consider themselves a part of the Russian world. Russian compatriots residing in South Africa and Lesotho contribute to strengthening of ties between our countries and promoting the Russian language along with unique Russia’s spiritual and cultural heritage.
The Republic of South Africa is a strategic partner of the Russian Federation. Our countries hold similar positions on many international issues, actively cooperate in the UN, BRICS and G20. The ties between Russia and South Africa have a long history, with the Soviet Union’s support in the struggle against apartheid, being one of its chapters.


Vietnam in focus of African friends and partners

Inspired by recent remarks from Vietnam’s Ambassador to South Africa Hoang Van Loi about a forthcoming study visit to Vietnam by a group of African policy specialists and influencers, we have approached the Johannesburg-based organisers to justify our curiosity.

Photo: Director of the Brenthurst Foundation Greg Mills (L) and Vietnam's Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Phuong Nga at an international seminar in Hanoi in November 2018 (Source: VNA)

11 June 2020

Pretoria, (VNA) - Inspired by recent remarks from Vietnam’s Ambassador to South Africa Hoang Van Loi, about a forthcoming study visit to Vietnam by a group of African policy specialists and influencers, we have approached the Johannesburg-based organisers to justify our curiosity.

It is not easy to be granted an interview with the Director of the Brenthurst Foundation, the renowned South African think tank; not only is Dr Greg Mills away from his Parktown office due to the coronavirus pandemic, but he has also been panelling numerous webinars – both for his excellent professional expertise in international relations and development in Asia and Africa, as well as to launch his latest book titled: ‘The Asian Aspiration: Why and How Africa Should Emulate Asia’, co-authored with former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, and Brenthurst Foundation researcher Emily van der Merwe.


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