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   10 September 2018 Issue 230 - Centre of Excellence




Singapore is world renowned as a center of excellence

SA Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Reginah Mhaule, represented South Africa in the Singapore-Sub-Saharan High Level Ministerial Exchange, that took place on 27 and 28 August 2018 in Singapore.
Whilst in Singapore, Deputy Minister Mhaule also participated in the Africa-Singapore Business Forum (ASBF), a biannual gathering that was launched in 2010. ASBF is the premier platform for business exchange and fostering trade and investment between Africa and Asia.
As an integral part of its policy of promoting the overseas growth for Singapore-based companies and international trade, the Singaporean government is also focusing on Africa as a source of new markets through initiatives such as the ASBF and the Sub-Saharan High-Level Ministerial Exchange.
South Africa and Singapore established diplomatic relations in 1992. South Africa’s bilateral relations with Singapore are warm, marked by, among other things, an exchange of high-level visits. Then Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa visited Singapore in 2016, followed by a reciprocal working visit by Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies in 2017.

3rd Indian Ocean Conference in Vietnam

SA Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Luwellyn Landers participated in the 3rd Indian Ocean Conference from 27 – 28 August 2018, in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The Conference under the theme: Building Regional Architecture”  is organised by the India Foundation, in association with its partners, the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies of Singapore and the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies.
The Conference was opened by the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka H.E. Ranil Wickremesinghe and other high level participants included the External Affairs Minister of India, Ms Sushma Swaraj, and Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Singapore.
South Africa as the current Chair of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) encompasses the view that the Indian Ocean Region should be characterized as a region of peace, stability and development within which to pursue the goal of promoting socio-economic cooperation for the wellbeing and development of the countries and peoples of the Indian Ocean Rim.  The theme adopted for the SA’s tenure as Chair from 2017-2019 is: “IORA – uniting the peoples of Africa, Asia, Australasia, and the Middle East through enhanced cooperation for peace, stability and sustainable development.”


Vietnam Anniversary and 25 years of Diplomatic relations

 Ambassador Vu Van Dzung of Vietnam hosted a reception to celebrate the 73rd Anniversary of the Independence Day of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and 25 years of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and South Africa.
After more than 7 decades since its independence, Vietnam has gained many great achievements in various aspects. Vietnam has become a country of peace and fast development. It’s GDP growth at 6,7% a year now, one of the fastest in the Asia-pacific region and the world. From a war torn country, Vietnam has become a middle income country, with GDP per capita reaching 2343 USD. Vietnam has completed the poverty reduction goals in the UN’s Millennium Development Goals before deadline, improved quality in health, education and HIV/AIDS prevention. Unemployment rate decreased, staying at 2,01% in the Quarter 1/2018, said Ambassador Vu Van Dzung.


Austrian Leadership Programs (ALPS)

Austrian Ambassador to South Africa Dr. Johann Brieger, MBA hosted participants of the the Austrian Leadership Programs (ALPS) for South African candidates of the program at his residence in Pretoria, South Africa.
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.
The ALPS is the Austrian Foreign Ministry’s professional exchange program that is organized together with the Austrian Economic Chamber, the Federation of Austrian Industries and the Diplomatic Academy.
Every year, 100 international leading executives with an economic or political background are invited to participate in four editions taking place in Austria, each of them lasting 6 days.
There is no application for ALPS. Candidates are nominated and selected by Austrian Embassies and Advantage Austria offices around the world. An assessment considering political and economic factors depicts roughly 50 countries that are going to be of particular interest for Austria’s politics/economy in the near future. Austrian embassies covering these 50 countries are assigned to identify potential participants meeting specific criteria defined by the Ministry.


Palestinian visit to Pretoria


By Shakira Akabor

Mrs Frihan Farrah, Rula Tamimi and cartoonist Osama Nazzal made up the group of Palestinians who visited Al Ghazali College on Monday, 3 September. Mrs Farrah, or Umm Shaadi, is mother to 12-year-old boy Shaadi Farrah, who was the youngest child prisoner at the time of his arrest. Umm Shaadi’s heartwrenching story of her son’s imprisonment and torture for six consecutive days in solitary confinement shocked the audience into the reality and horror of the daily occupation by Israeli soldiers in the Al Quds area. Despite her son’s suffering and torture, Mrs Farrah said she still considers her son lucky as he has not been shot by Israeli soldiers, unlike other children who were shot multiple times whilst in prison. She reminded us that her story is not unique, and that 350 families have had their children abducted by Israeli forces.
Osama Nazzal works as a cartoonist for a Palestinian newspaper, depicting the plight and difficulties of daily life in the occupied territories. A large number of his printed cartoons were displayed on the walls of the hall, generating interest and a buzz as the audience gathered to view his work. He spoke of his own imprisonment and attacks on his house but he was adamant that he will continue spreading his message of love and peace via his drawings.

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China and Africa Jointly Responsible

Peace and development remain the underlying trend of our times

"I once again saw an Africa that is beautiful and richly endowed," said President Xi Jinping at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). Referring to it as "the land of great promise," Xi noted that he has visited the African continent nine times. Four of his visits have taken place as head of state of the People's Republic of China.
His remarks to African leaders in their various capacities laid out a concrete plan for the partnership between the 2.5 billion people of China and Africa. Funding and cooperation in business, tourism and climate change will be prioritized. He also addressed the concerns of both sides that the engagements will be amicable and in line with the African Union's Agenda 2063 and the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The FOCAC mechanism initiated in 2000 is based on common development, aiming to create modestly prosperous, equitable, and happy societies. Today China ranks as the second largest economy in the world. Its socioeconomic development is unprecedented in history and it has shared its success throughout the world, least of all with Africa.
Many infrastructure projects under the Belt and Road Initiative framework are under construction, bringing about stability and inspiring innovation. "We are firm in our conviction that peace and development remain the underlying trend of our times. Indeed, they are the call of the times," said Xi.









AUGUST 2018 Print Edition








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