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News                                                                               
 

South Africa and Qatar elevate bilateral relations

20 May 2016

President Jacob Zuma is back in the country after a successful state visit to the State of Qatar, the Presidency said on Friday.

The state visit to the oil rich gulf state saw the two sides signing several agreements and commitments in the field of defence, police as well as arts culture and heritage.

The agreements will enhance and elevate bilateral relations between the two countries to a strategic level.

Photo: South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane meeting with Qatar Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al-Thani, before the commencement of the State Visit of President Jacob Zuma to Doha, Qatar.

The President met with the Emir of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani where they held bilateral talks on trade and economic relations between the two countries.

He also paid a courtesy call on Father Emir of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani.

SA-Qatari Business Forum
President Zuma also addressed the South Africa-Qatari Business Forum roundtable, which further promoted Business-to Business cooperation, aimed at diversifying the economies of the two nations.

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Welcome to South Africa

On 13 May 2016 President Jacob Zuma received Letters of Credence from Ambassadors and High Commissioners-designate at a credentials ceremony at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse in Pretoria. 

Heads of Mission-designate from sixteen countries presented their credentials to President Zuma. They are
Pictured standing (l-r) Slovak Republic - Ambassador Monika Tomasovicova, Republic of Iraq - Ambassador Dr Saad A W Jawad Kindeel, Republic of Italy - Ambassador Pietro Giovanni Donnici, Republic of Namibia - High Commissioner Veiccoh Kahwadi Nghiwete, Gabonese Republic - Ambassador Andre William Anguile, Republic of Haiti - Ambassador Jacques Junior Baril, Kingdom of Thailand - Ambassador Dr Pornchai Danvivathana, Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See - Ambassador Archbishop Peter Bryan Wells.
Pictured seated (l-r) The Commonwealth of The Bahamas - High Commissioner Eldred Edison Bethel, Republic of Sierra Leone - High Commissioner Osman Keh Kamara, Republic of Montenegro - Ambassador Milorad Sepanovic, Tajikistan - Ambassador Khusrav Noziri, President Jacob Zuma, Independent State of Papua New Guinea - High Commissioner Winnie Anna Kiap, Negara Brunei Darussalam - High Commissioner Saifulbahri Mansor, Republic of Chad - Ambassador Ahmat Awad Sakine and Republic of Iceland - Ambassador Thorir Ibsen Photo: DIRCO

 

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German Africa Award for Public Protector Thuli Madonsela

May 19, 2016

Thuli Madonsela will be awarded with the prestigious German Africa Award 2016 from the German Africa Foundation to honour her engagement in safeguarding the rule of law. The South African Public Protector will receive the award at a special ceremony in Berlin later this year.

“Being awarded the German Africa Award in her last year of office is a sign of appreciation for her achievements in the role as Public Protector,” stresses German Ambassador Lindner. “Mandonsela’s engagement for democracy and the rule of law is outstanding and will serve as a role model for many years to come,” Lindner argues.

Madonsela joins the ranks of influential Africans such as Tunisian Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Houcine Abassi, who received the award last year. The award was established 38 years ago in order to promote and facilitate dialogue between the business, economic and political sector of both countries and is supported by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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Bilateral Relations between Pakistan and South Africa Reviewed

19 May, 2016

Pakistan and South Africa bilateral relations are increasing with a steady pace. In a Review Meeting held today at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), Pretoria, both sides discussed and reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations in the political, diplomatic, economic, trade and defence fields.

An agenda item specifically focussed on relaxing visa restrictions with special reference to the presence of more than 100,000 Pakistanis living in South Africa. The Pakistani delegation was led by High Commissioner Najm us Saqib while the South African delegation was headed by Ms Andrea Kühn, Chief Director, Asia and Oceania, DIRCO.

The meeting, inter alia, decided to hold the 5th Session of the Joint Commission in Islamabad later this year, at the level of Minister of State/Deputy Foreign Minister.

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Sri Lankan Foreign Policy Towards EU and NORDIC countries 

By Srimal Fernando Global Editor, The Diplomatic Society

New Beginning German - Sri Lanka relationship German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena
If one looks closely at Sri Lanka’s relationship with the European Union and the Nordic countries, there is no doubt cooperation has expanded significantly beyond the realm of diplomacy.

European Union- Sri Lanka Relations

The diplomatic relationship between Sri Lanka and the European Union (EU) member states continues to expand and grow. Sri Lanka sees itself as a small but important partner for the European Union. Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s administration is actively restoring its relationship with the European Union (EU) and member countries through meaningful dialogue. In his first tour to European Union countries after assuming duties of the top office, President Sirisena’s and his delegation paid official visits to the United Kingdom, Germany, the Vatican and Austria, a clear indication of Sri Lanka’s commitment to cooperation with Europe.

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Screening of Polish film “City 44"

10 May 2016

The Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Pretoria, in cooperation with the Warsaw Flights Commemoration Organising Committee in RSA, presented the outstanding Polish film “City 44" - directed by Jan Komasa - at the Museum of Military History in Johannesburg on 10 May 2016.

The event was conducted by Andrzej Romanowicz, president of the Warsaw Flights Commemoration Organising Committee in RSA. In his speech, he drew the attention of the gathered guests to the tragic history of the Warsaw Uprising - the drama of the city and its inhabitants, the theme of the story. He also mentioned the director of the film - Jan Komasa – as one of the brightest and most outstanding young artists in Poland.

The Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in Pretoria, Anna Raduchowska – Brochwicz also delivered a speech. She stressed that the Warsaw Uprising was the most heroic and tragic event, not only during the Second World War, but also in the entire Polish history. Patriotic surge of the Poles, aimed at liberating Warsaw from Nazi German occupation, while the Soviet army was standing on the right bank of the Vistula river passively watching the citizens of Warsaw bleeding to death, was considered unnecessary by many.

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Uber driver partners to be licensed as transport operators

16 May 2016

The Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport has taken an official decision to license Uber driver partners as public transport operators.

“The aim is to ensure the continuation of a public transport service for the people of Gauteng, who have come to rely on Uber as a mode of transport,” Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC Ismail Vadi said on Monday.

He was speaking during the launch of the process of regulating Uber partner drivers as public transport operators.
According to the Provincial Regulatory Entity (PRE) regulations, any public operator should be licensed.

PRE is responsible for issuing public transport licences to qualifying public transport operators. It is also responsible for regulating public transport operators by registering public transport associations on its database.

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THE INTENT OF THE FOUNDERS

CDE. MAC MAHARAJ

Democracy has been driven from its inception by the idea of empowering the people to run their own lives and shape their future. In whatever form it takes, democracy is not a cure-all for the conflicts of interests and contradictions that are manifest in a society.

What it does is to provide a platform that enables these conflicts to be mediated, be it temporarily or otherwise. Perhaps a simpler analogy would be to describe it as laying out a playing field with all its markings and elaborating the rules in terms of which the mediation takes place.

The concept of representative government elected by the people, while advancing the notion of democracy, bears with it several implications.

By placing political power into a small group of elected persons it creates the space for the abuse of state power and the need for mechanisms of accountability. Another consequence is that increasing numbers of citizens feel marginalised, alienated and taken for granted. While all these tendencies are manifest in almost all democratic systems in the world today, at present most of the emphasis falls on issues of abuse of power and accountability.

This emphasis is correctly founded not in some theory but our actual experience of the last two decades.

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AUC hosts Jazz Music Workshop towards creating Social Change through Arts
 
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 09 May 2016

The Citizens and Diaspora Directorate (CIDO) in cooperation with the US Mission to the AU (USAU) held a two day workshop on 04 and 6th of May 2016 respectively, on creating social change through art. The workshop culminated with a jazz and hip hop performance, at the Multi-purpose hall of the African Union Commission Headquarters, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The workshop culminated with a performance which featured artists from Shaolin Jazz in addition to some of the AU talents. The performance was attended by Acting Director of CIDO, Mr. Ahmed El Basheer, the US Ambassador to the AU Ambassador Susan Page, The ambassador of the Turkey to the AU Ambassador FatihUlusoy in addition to staff from each of the AUC, USAU, Embassies, International and national organization.

The workshop and performance was led by Shaolin Jazz, a US based group which helps spread awareness and unearth the different means in which music can be used as a medium to create positive change. In the context of the AU, music can be used as a tool for dialogue among African citizens in the continent and in the diaspora; use music as a tool to popularize the messages of the AU, of the Africa We Want and of Agenda 2063; work towards one of the aspirations of Agenda 2063 which calls for enhanced Pan African cultural assets which we can only achieve through enhancing our heritage, folklore, theater and music; and explore how music can be utilized to create employability.

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South Africa and Gabon strengthen relations  

13 May 2016

South African Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Luwellyn Landers, is on a visit to the Republic of Gabon from 12 to 13 May 2016.

The visit is aimed at strengthening bilateral political and economic relations. Relations between South Africa and Gabon are sound and the visit aims to further strengthen and expand the partnership.

Photo: Meeting between the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Gabonese Republic, Mr Calixte Isidore Nsie Edang and Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Luwellyn Landers in Libraville, Gabon on 12 May 2016.  -Yolande Snyman

The visit also provides an opportunity for the exchange of views on regional, continental and international issues of mutual concern.

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A Regional Response to Smuggling of Migrants

12 May 2016 Johannesburg, South Africa

On 10 – 12 May 2016 the senior officials from 11 SADC member states representing the Immigration authorities, Police, Prosecutors and ministries of Justice joined together to discuss the way to address the growing challenge of smuggling of migrants in the SADC Region.

The workshop, the first one of this kind, was organised by SADC Secretariat and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime to discuss the smuggling of migrant’s trends and patterns in the Region, and share ideas of possible regional response to this challenge.
 
Despite the existing regulations of legal migration systems, people in the SADC region move continuously for a range of reasons – to seek employment, to escape poverty, to reunite with their families, to flee internal conflict. However, the difficulty in accessing legal channels for migration often forces individuals to rely on the services of smugglers to reach their destination.
 
Migrant smuggling generate large profits for the criminals involved – whether they are migrant smugglers or traffickers in the form of agents or employers. Both are low-risk and high-profit crimes. The participants of the workshop voiced particular concern on the increased trend of unaccompanied minors smuggled into the Region and the exposure of women and children to sexual abuse during smuggling.

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