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2018 FIFA World Cup banknotes put into circulation in Russia

24 May 2018

Russia issues a limited series of 100-rubles banknotes in celebration of the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The tournament will be held in 11 Russian cities across the country from 14 June to 15 July. These banknotes are a collector's must-have, and a great remembrance token.

The design symbolizes the aspirations of the country’s younger generations, and the examples set by Russia’s greatest football players like Soviet goalkeeping legend Lev Yashin.

On the reverse side of the note is a flying football, which represents the globe and the international nature of the World Cup.

20 Million special notes have been printed.


The Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

23 May 2018

On Saturday 19 May, the UK in South Africa, through its High Commission in Pretoria and Consulate General in Cape Town, joined in the celebrations of the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

At the Pretoria event, held at the High Commissioner’s residence, guests were treated to a spectacular garden party complete with picket fences, rose flower arrangements and a display of Bentley’s dressed as wedding cars. Guests ranged from members of the diplomatic corps, SA government, including Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu, to business and NGO organisations who work with the High Commission. Guests were treated to drinks by Simonsig, Ernie Els Wines and Diageo, and canapés, while watching the ceremony on a big screen in the beautiful garden.

High Commissioner Nigel Casey said, “It’s a marriage that’s been made in the southern African skies. Harry once brought Meghan to Botswana where they fell in love and so it is symbolic that we are gathering like this today with the American embassy right next door to us. It’s a transatlantic love affair”.


O.P. Jindal Global University: A globally recognized BRICS ranked University

By Srimal Fernando and Megha Gupta

For the past seventy years public and private universities in India have formed an important part of the nation’s success story and today it still continues to do so. Founded just nine years ago, O.P. Jindal Global University, a spacious state of art and a fully residential campus housing nearly 3500 students is located close to the national capital region of Delhi.  

Today in a short span of time under the wise leadership of Founding Chancellor Hon. Naveen Jindal and Founding Vice Chancellor Dr. C. Raj Kumar, the prestigious Jindal Global University (JGU) has experienced great progress. A year before, the former President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee had visited the university to inaugurate the international conference on the ‘Universities of the Future: Knowledge Innovation and Responsibility’, where the Chancellor of JGU had stated that "The universities of the future will be the pillars of growth and development of our nation. They must be transformed into sites of active learning and research which can act as launch pads for innovation and path-breaking ideas." JGU has now reached the forefront as it is among the top ten private and public institutions according to the QS ranking of BRICS in 2018.


BRICS ministers reaffirm commitment to Paris agreement  

21 May 2018

Environment Ministers from BRICS nations have reaffirmed their commitment to the Paris Agreement in dealing with climate change.

“We reaffirm our commitments to the Paris Agreement and urge developed countries to continue taking the lead and support developing countries, including the transfer of needed technology, which is one of the most critical enablers for climate action,” the ministers said in a joint statement.

(Image credit: Embassy of Russia in South Africa)

The ministers and their representatives from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa met in KwaZulu-Natal for the 4th BRICS Ministers of Environment Meeting which ended on Friday 18 May.


An Incomplete Transition: Overcoming the Legacy of Exclusion in South Africa

21 May 2018

World Bank’s Systematic Country Diagnostic Report highlights applications on how South Africa can address challenges to create a more inclusive society

Brand South Africa welcomes the World Bank’s recently released a report which explores key development challenges and opportunities for South Africa and identified five binding constraints to tackling poverty and inequality.

The report titled ‘Systematic Country Diagnostic - An Incomplete Transition: Overcoming the Legacy of Exclusion in South Africa,’ indicates that the root causes of persistently high poverty, inequality, and unemployment are associated to South Africa’s history of exclusion, which is rooted in land, capital, labour and product markets. This is despite advancements made since the country’s democratic dispensation in 1994.


Astana Economic Forum kicks off in Kazakh capital, focuses on global challenges

May 18, 2018

The eleventh Astana Economic Forum kicked off in the Kazakh capital May 17, welcoming 5,000 participants from 111 countries and more than 500 speakers, including former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former French President Francois Hollande and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Organised in Astana since 2008, this year’s event focuses on global trends and challenges.

Opening the event, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said the annual forum has evolved into a “good tradition” and a platform to “discuss acute issues in economy, investment and innovation.” He indicated five global trends and reiterated the need to establish G-Global platform under the aegis of the UN.


Japan-Africa Public-Private Economic Forum

10 May 2018

The Japan-Africa Public-Private Economic Forum took place in Johannesburg, South Africa from 3-4 May 2018.

Following the significant growth of Japan’s economic partnership with African countries, in 2016 at TICAD VI in Nairobi, the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, announced Japan’s intention to launch the “Japan-Africa Public-Private Economic Forum”.

The Forum was organised by the Government of Japan in collaboration with South Africa.

Its aim was to accelerate private-sector-led economic growth in Africa by encouraging further business encounters among Japanese and African companies.

Over 800 participants from Africa and several other countries including more than 100 Japanese business executives and high level ministerial representation from Japan such as Mr. Hiroshige Seko, the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) attended the Forum.


30th Anniversary of the battle of Cuito Cuanavale

"Cuito Cuanavale was a milestone in the history of the struggle for southern African liberation," said Nelson Mandela.

To mark the 30th Anniversary of the battle of Cuito Cuanavale on 14 May 2018, dignataries gathered at Freedom Park honouring Nelson Mandela's legacy in solidarity with Cuba in the year of his centenary.

Photo: Cuban Ambassador Benitez Verson, Former President of SA Kgalema Motlanthe and Ambassador of Namibia Veiccoh K. Nghiwete give Diplomas to Cubans who fought for the liberation of Africa.

Cuban youth laid a wreath in front of the Wall of Names at Freedom Park in Pretoria to pay tribute to the heroes who sacrificed their lives in the struggle for justice and freedom. Among these names are 2 289 Cubans who sacrificed their lives as internationalist combatants on African soil. Diplomas were awarded to Cuban internationalists who fought in Africa. The battle spanned from August 1987 till March 1988.

Addressing guests Cuban Ambassador Benitez Verson said, "There is an African saying according to which: “The foot prints of the people that walked together can never be erased”.

The deep and special relationship between Cuba and Africa was cemented in the battlefields of southern Angola, where almost half a million of Cubans joined their fate with that of African combatants to reject the military intervention of apartheid and imperialism in the continent.



Poland’s Lessons: History and Geography is Not Destiny

by Greg Mills

Despite the absence of a state for 123 years until 1918, the horror of the Second World War when it lost 85% of its capital and one-third of its population, and the trauma of the Soviet period, since 1990 Poland has become a normal country, and quickly. In so doing it shows that history, like geography, is not destiny writes Greg Mills.

THE GREAT SHIPYARDS OF GDAŃSK ON THE BALTIC gave birth to the Solidarity trade union movement in Poland in 1980. Despite its banning and the systematic state persecution of its members, by June 1989 the movement had triumphed over the Soviet-backed Polish United Workers’ Party (PZPR) in the first partially free elections after the Second World War.

The union leader Lech Wałęsa, instantly distinguishable by his walrus moustache, became president of Poland in 1990. He did not exaggerate when he said that ‘By knocking the teeth out of the Soviet bear, we helped other nations win their freedom.’ Solidarity’s victory precipitated the fall of the Berlin Wall and widespread political and economic change across the Soviet-controlled East bloc.

Today Gdańsk is the home of a revitalised shipping industry. Poland is the second biggest manufacturer, after the US, of motorised yachts. At the Northern Shipyard, now under private ownership, ocean going trawlers, Thames River ferries, oil platform tenders and shiny red Artic supply vessels are under various stages of construction.


World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day

15 May 2018

The International Committee of the Red Cross Head of Regional Delegation for southern Africa, Mr Vincent Cassard, hosted a reception in Pretoria on the occasion of World Red Cross and Red Crescent day on 8 May 2018.

World Red Cross Day has become an important day in the history of humanitarian work and is commemorated annually on the 8th of May to celebrate the role that is played by National Societies, Red Cross Federation (IFRC) and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the life saving events as well as assisting the vulnerable social people all around the world. It is on the birthday of Henri Dunant who was the founder of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in the year 1863 in the Geneva, Switzerland that this day is celebrated.



April 2018






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