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  28 April 2016 Issue 168 - Culture Reimagined

 

 

 

 

Mandela's statue unveiled in Ramallah

 
26 April 2016
Palestinians inaugurated a giant statue of Nelson Mandela donated by the city of Johannesburg to Ramallah, the political capital in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
The 6m 2-ton bronze statue was a gift from the City of Johannesburg with which Ramallah is twinned.
"I think that Nelson Mandela himself would have been extremely proud of what has been done today," said Parks Tau, the mayor of the Johannesburg.
Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas also attended the ceremony at the renamed Nelson Mandela Square in the Al-Tireh district.
Mandela, who died in 2013, was South Africa's first president after the era of apartheid, a regime of segregation that the Palestinians accuse Israel of also imposing.
He was an ardent supporter of the Palestinian cause and a champion for Middle East peace.
Ramallah several days ago installed huge posters celebrating the South African leader bearing his comment: "We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians."
Ramallah mayor Mussa Hadid said the statue "symbolises the shared suffering" of the South African and Palestinian peoples.
 
 

FREEDOM DAY

 
South Africans celebrated Freedom Day on 27 April.
 
We welcome submissions of your Freedom Day celebrations.
 
Please email messages, articles and photos to editorial@thediplomaticsociety.co.za.
 



 

 

Papa Wemba: musical king of the Society of Ambianceurs and Elegant People

 
by Thomas Salter, University of Edinburgh
(This article was originally published on The Conversation)

Sadly, we have lost another great of Congolese music – Papa Wemba.
Papa Wemba was born Shungu Wembiado in 1949. He came to musical prominence in the great beating heart of Congolese popular music, Kinshasa’s famous district of Matonge in the 1970s during the belle époque of Congolese popular music. The people of the capital, and especially its musical heart, are now mourning one of their musical heroes. Oh Kinshasa! Oh Matonge!
I never met Papa Wemba, but I did meet many of his colleagues and contemporaries. When I did my research on the spread of Congolese music in Africa between 1945 and 2000 I found the Congolese, whether from one side of the river or the other, were people who really knew their music and its history. It never ceased to amaze me how anyone I talked to could narrate a shared musical narrative, a kind of creation story, a history in which four generations of Congolese musicians marched through the years after 1945 spreading Congolese music all over Africa in a way no other African country could rival.
Each of these four generations was identified with a particular set of dances and with a particular formative band. Papa Wemba played no small part in this unparalleled musical achievement as part of the third generation.
 
 


 

Africa and Russia strengthen ties to build on their potential

 
Moscow, Russia – 21 April 2016

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, on Thursday 21 April 2016, concluded her second official visit to Russia, which ended on a high note, with commitment to strengthen the relationship between Africa and the Russian Federation. In meetings with the Russian Federation Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sergey Lavrov and the Chairperson of the Council of the Federation, Mrs. Valentina Matvienko, they agreed to strengthen the relationship in ways that would match the potential of Africa and Russia.
Organised as one of regular consultations within the framework of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the AU Commission and Russia in September 2014, Dr. Dlamini Zuma and Mr. Sergey Lavrov held discussions on issues ranging from sustainable development, to trade and investments, training of Africa’s youth, and peace and security.


Greater collaboration and cooperation between Africa and Belarus

 
Minsk, Belarus – 25 April 2016

A bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of Belarus, signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, holding talks with the Board Chairman of the Belarus National Bank and delivering a lecture at the University of Belarus. These are highlights of the maiden official visit of the African Union Commission Chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to Belarus. The visit took place from 21-24 April 2016.
In her meeting with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus, H.E. Andrei Kobyakov, the AU Commission Chairperson made a case for greater collaboration and cooperation between Africa and Belarus. She recalled the historic relationship that existed during the days of the Soviet Republic, and invited the Government of Belarus to create favourable conditions for Belarusian businesses to invest Africa at national, sub-regional and continental levels.
“We will never forget the support that Africa got during that time,” said Dr. Dlamini-Zuma. “That is why today we are urging the people of Belarus to invest in Africa as it implements its 50-year development plan, Agenda 2063.”
 


 
 

 

German Ambassador Lindner visits green housing project

 
April 25 2016

German Ambassador Walter Lindner visited the green housing project in Boksburg, Johannesburg. The Ravenswood housing complex forms part of the support of the German government for energy- efficient housing in South Africa. The German contribution of 267 million Rand will enable the nationwide construction of 5,000 green housing units for recipients of low and middle incomes in the coming months.
The green units are expected to save over 1.3 billion kg of CO2, 34 billion liters of water, and 2.1 billion Rand in utilities spending. The project is an important part of South Africa’s and Germany’s development cooperation in the focal area of “Green Economy“.
“Germany and South Africa have the common goal to reduce carbon emissions”, stated Lindner during the visit and argued that “the severe consequences of the drought in Southern Africa highlight the need for swift action to combat climate change.”

 

 

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