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   24 October 2018 Issue 232 - Unbreakable bonds




India - South Africa an unbreakable bond

In 1918, one hundred years ago in Qunu a village in the Eastern Cape province of the Republic of South Africa, Rolihlahla Mandela was born into the royal household of the Thembu nation. Mohandas Gandhi was turning 50 in the same year in India. He had left South Africa 3 years prior, after living there for 21 years, and returned to India, his country of birth.

Photo: Naledi Pandor, South African Minister of Higher Education and Ruchira Kamboj, High Commissioner of India to South Africa at the soft launch of the Gandhi – Mandela Centre of Specialization

In this, the 100th and 150th anniversary of the birth of these icons of freedom, justice and equality among humankind, commemorations and celebrations are being held all over the world.
In Tshwane South at the Technical and Vocational Education and Training College in South Africa’s capital, the realization of the Gandhi – Mandela Centre of Specialization for Artisan Skills began its journey on October 8th 2018. This venture is further evidence of an intricate, intertwined and resilient connection between South Africa and India.
The Specialization Centre will provide training for electricians, boilermakers, mechanical fitters and millwright.


Ice and fire – The land of the midnight sun

Dr Anna Mokgokong is accredited as the Honorary Consul for Iceland to South Africa and is keen to build a vibrant and dynamic relationship between these two countries.
In 2018 Iceland, the island nation, celebrates 100 years of independence and sovereignty. The Icelanders number around 330 000 and occupy a country 103 000 square kilometres in size. Snow-capped mountain peaks and glacial rivers contrasts the active volcanoes yet compliment the natural hot mineral springs.
Recognising the potential of the ocean economy and energy resources Dr Mokgokong will make these a priority for promoting trade, tourism and investment between South Africa and Iceland. She hopes to raise the trade figure to between half a billion and a billion rand from a sluggish R100 million according to 2014 records. Cooperation on energy and renewables will present opportunities for high-tech innovation and invention. 
Dr Mokgokong‘s passion for women’s empowerment will also receive attention through Iceland’s policies of gender diversity development.


Heads of Mission urged to lead investment drive

(Photo: DIRCO)
President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged South African ambassadors to lead the investment drive in the countries where they are posted.
“This Heads of Mission conference therefore takes place at an important moment, for it is you, our diplomats, who must play a pivotal role in driving the message that South Africa is open for business,” said President Ramaphosa on Tuesday.
The Heads of Mission conference, hosted by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) kicked off on Monday and will wrap up on Thursday in Pretoria. 
It is being held under the theme ‘A New Dawn: Inclusiveness of South Africa’s foreign policy which aims to promote a better South Africa, Africa and world’.
The biennial conference brings together the heads of South Africa’s diplomatic missions abroad to assess national, regional, continental and global trends and dynamics, and to determine a strategy to be implemented in line with South Africa’s foreign policy vision and mission.
The conference also serves as a platform for South Africa’s diplomats to be briefed about progress on government’s programmes and plans.
President Ramaphosa’s call to ambassadors to rally investors in their designated countries comes as South Africa gears up for the Investment Conference, which kicks off on Thursday.
“It is our missions abroad that are leading our economic diplomacy, that need to ensure that the outcomes of the conference are conveyed around the world, and that are responsible for assisting the expansion of trade and investment links with partner countries,” said President Ramaphosa.
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Sweden and South Africa meeting through music


by Cecilia Julin, Ambassador of Sweden in South Africa
Sweden and South Africa have a long history of meeting through music. Individual artists have made their mark in our common history. Miriam Makeba put South Africa on the music map for many Swedes already back in 1966 with a legendary performance at Bern’s Salonger in Stockholm. This was during her years of exile. Her enormous influence on the world of music was recognized in 2002 when she received the Swedish Polar Music Prize, one of the world’s biggest musical prizes.

Photo: Maher Zain landing in South Africa. He will perform with the full Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra on 26 and 27 October.

In 1985 the elite of Sweden’s pop and rock scene joined up for a gala concert protesting against apartheid. Significantly, the concert brought together musicians who had previously been on each end of the political spectrum, in support of a democratic South Africa.
More recently we have seen co-operations between for instance Cape Town Opera and Norrlandsoperan, which have resulted in new and acclaimed works like Poet and Prophetess with music by Mats Larsson Gothe (SE) and libretto by Michael Williams (SA) and the launching of international operatic careers on both the South African and Swedish side.

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World Tourism Day 2018 was celebrated in Hungary

Hungary was the host country of this year’s World Tourism Day. The theme of the event was “Tourism and the Digital Transformation” - a priority of the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) – and it explored how investment in new technologies offers innovation opportunities to the sector, such as local community empowerment and efficient resource management,
World Tourism Day has been commemorated on the 27th of September since 1980 by the UNWTO with the aim of raising awareness to the significant role that tourism plays in international economic growth and development, while providing a unique platform to create partnerships and exchange views. The tourism sector contributes to 10.4% of the world’s GDP generating313 million jobs and with an annual increase that exceeds the global economic growth.
This year ministers, high-level political representatives, tourism experts, entrepreneurs, investors and innovators from 52 countries gathered in Budapest to celebrate World Tourism Day. There was an interesting addition to the prestigious event: the launching of the first ever UNWTO Tourism Start-up Competition, where 20 semi-finalists presented their innovative projects to investors and tourism leaders. They were selected from over 3,000 applicants from 132 countries. The competition was initiated by UNWTO and the Spanish tourism company Globalia to find projects that promote innovation and the way in which travel can be re-imagined.


40th Anniversary of Quito and Galápagos Islands inscribed into UNESCO

The Embassy of Ecuador hosted a Photo Exhibition for the Fortieth Anniversary of the Declaration of the city of Quito as a UNESCO Cultural Heritage of Humanity, and the Galápagos Islands as a UNESCO Natural Heritage of Humanity.

Photo: Ms Maria Soledad Cordova Montero, Ambassador of Ecuador to South Africa (left) opening the exhibition

The city of Quito and the Galapagos Islands were the first places in the world to obtain this category from UNESCO, which confers a solemn consecration to this universal value, said Ambassador Cordova Montero.
Quito, Ecuador's capital, sits high in the Andean foothills at an altitude of 2,850m. Constructed on the foundations of an ancient Incan city, it’s known for its well-preserved colonial center, rich with 16th- and 17th-century churches and other structures blending European, Moorish and indigenous styles. These include the cathedral, in the Plaza Grande square, and ultra-ornate Compañia de Jesús Jesuit church. Quito was inscribed into the UNESCO list in 1978. The entire protected area spans 320 hectares in land area.
The Galapagos Islands are situated in the Pacific Ocean some 1,000 km from the Ecuadorian coast.









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