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South Africans depart for Japan on the JET Programme

32 South African youth together with others from about 44 countries will have the opportunity to teach English in Japan. The Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme is a scheme of the Government of Japan aiming to improve foreign language teaching in schools and to promote international exchange at the local level. The Programme was established in 1987 has since attracted more than 40 000 young graduates to Japan.

The JET Programme was first introduced to South Africa in 1997, with 5 participants who worked in Japan between 1 and 3 years. Over the past 17 years the number of South African participants has steadily increased, bringing the current total number to 566.

In his speech at the reception, Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki (pictured centre), congratulated the departing JET participants and wished them well.

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Be Unstoppable in Rio Olympic teams SA

22 July 2016

A farewell gala dinner was hosted on 22 July 2016 for the South African Olympic and Paralympic teams who will be participating in the upcoming Rio Olympics. The Olympics officially opens on 5 August and the Paralympics on 7 September.

The teams were encouraged by guest speakers on the evening that South Africans fully supported them and would celebrate all their achievements at the Games.

Photo: Pictured at the Gala Dinner are (l-r) Mr. Sam Ramsamy, Board member of SASCOC/ Member of the International Olympic Committee, Mr. Elkhan Polukhov, Ambassador of Azerbaijan and Mr. Andrei Molchan, Ambassador of Belarus

Addressing guests Ahmed Kathrada, former Robben Island prisoner and political activist emphasized that sport is a great unifying factor. He said that even on Robben Island the prisoners participated in sports. In sport, he said, people are united in a winning course. "May our Olympic and Paralympic teams celebrate success and victory after victory," he said.

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Access Equity Rights – Now

22 July 2016

The 21st International AIDS Conference ended its successful deliberations in Durban on 22 July 2016.

The conference was convened under the theme, “Access Equity Rights – Now” and was held against the background of the global celebrations of the Nelson Mandela International Day, drawing inspiration from the clarion call by the former president Nelson Mandela that "It is in our hands” [to realise an HIV-free generation].

The South African Presidency said the delegation remained cognisant that to achieve such an HIV-free generation would require commitment from the international community amongst others, consistent investment in research and development that could lead to new options for vaccine and a functional cure for HIV.

During the Conference, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also the Chairperson of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), paid a courtesy call on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and likewise received a courtesy call from philanthropist and donor Bill Gates.

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Filipino Designers at the Philippine Embassy

30 June 2016

The United Arab Emirates is home to many top designers who are widely known across the globe. The designers added to the UAE‘s popularity when it comes to fashion and trend which is one of the reasons why the country respectfully gained influential spot in the fashion world bringing with them their rich Filipino culture and craftsmanship.

Photo: Ambassador Constancio R. Vingno Jr. with Madame Yoko Ramos-Vingno, AbuDhabi based Filipino Fashion Designers: Aldwin JLo Ornopia, Allen Villena and Ruben Santos

Three of the top Filipino fashion designers visited the Philippine Embassy for a lunch reception hosted by Ambassador Constancio R. Vingno Jr. and Madame Yoko Ramos-Vingno, the Chairman of the Philippine Ladies Circle Abu Dhabi.

The reception was initiated to recognize and to show appreciation for the unwavering support of the designers during the past events in line with the Philippine National Day.

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AU Summit comes to a successful end with a concerted call for togetherness
 
Kigali, Rwanda - 18 July 2016

The 27th African Union (AU) Summit came to a successful conclusion on Monday 18 July 2016, with Heads of State and Government from AU Member countries making a common call for togetherness, inclusive growth and economic development through Agenda 2063.

The Heads of State also adopted recommendations of the retreat on financing the Union, which seeks to empower the Union by driving it towards financial independence and from external influences.

H.E Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma presented the Gender Scorecards in various categories ranging from socio-economic and political performance to development at national level. Rwanda, Algeria, South Africa and Tunisia were awarded honorific prizes in recognition of their outstanding efforts in the promotion of women rights and gender equality.

According to the AUC Chairperson, almost all AU Member States have achieved at least one of the AU gender-related goals, such as promotion of health, education, employment and social welfare of women in their countries.

“African countries should maintain this spirit of togetherness and start working together on action plans to foster economic development for the entire continent. This Summit has indicated that we can achieve great things and overcome all challenges if we work in unity”, said Dr. Dlamini Zuma.

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Filipino Schools Win at the World Scholars’ Cup 2016

04 July 2016

Two Filipino Schools in the UAE shone and brought honor to the Philippines and the UAE after winning at the 2016 World Scholar Cup (WSC) Global Rounds.

The event was held last June 25th-30th in Bangkok, Thailand.

Photo: Ambassador Constancio R. Vingno Jr. And Madame Yoko Ramos-Vingno with the delegates from The Philippine Global School Ms Raslyn Agatha Harrison, Ms Ruby O. Awad, Principal Lizabeth Comia and Senior student Kurt Narciso

The Philippine Emirates Private School (PEPS) and The Philippine Global School (TPGS) Abu Dhabi joined the competition with 30 students who represented their respective schools.

An estimate of 3,200 students worldwide competed to qualify for the WSC Tournament of Champions which will be held in Yale University this coming November.

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Israel 2016 - Sixty eight years after Independence

By Srimal Fernando Global Editor, The Diplomatic Society
 
This year marks the sixty eighth anniversary of Israel's independence. In a speech Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressing the Nation said, “The Israeli flag flies gloriously and a great light shines from Jerusalem. We are celebrating 68 years of Israeli independence.” It was sixty eight years ago, on May 14, 1948, that Britain ended its mandate over Palestine and, David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, declared the establishment of Israel. One year after Israeli Independence fifty-three nations, including Britain, had extended recognition to this great nation. In May 1949, following the recommendation of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, the UN General Assembly, admitted Israel to the UN adopting Resolution 273(III ).

Photo: U.S. President Barack Obama (c) watches Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (r) shake hands during a trilateral meeting at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel September 22, 2009 in New York City.

Since the time of independence, the country has faced many conflicts with its neighbours, terrorism on its borders and more than 23,000 military personnel have died in Israel's wars.

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Australian poverty ambassador laces up for walk across southern Africa

18 July 2016

Australian Matt Napier’s mission to end world poverty is seeing him walk 2,250 kilometres across Southern Africa to raise awareness of the importance of reducing poverty around the world through sustainable development.  

Photo: Australian High Commissioner to South Africa, Adam McCarthy (left), this morning joined Matt (as he commenced the final leg of his southern African trek, towards Maputo from Pretoria) in walking for 67 minutes in celebration of Mandela Day

As part of the Walk to a Better World campaign, Matt is travelling through Namibia, Botswana, South Africa and Mozambique – a journey that will take him around 2 months to complete.   He is kicking or carrying a football for the entire trip as a way of connecting with people from all walks of life and highlighting how sport is being used as a tool to help alleviate poverty in Africa.

“I’m hoping to help all Australians better understand the role they can play in ending world poverty in the next generation, and the importance of supporting sustainable development that works hand-in-hand with local communities” Matt said.  

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The 21st International AIDS Conference kicks off in Durban

18 July 2016

Hundreds of delegates from around the world are gathering at Durban’s International Convention Centre this morning for the International Aids Conference, with many here hoping the gathering will usher in a fresh approach in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
 
Over 12 000 delegates from 180 countries across the globe are expected to attend the conference organised by the International Aids society. The theme of this year’s gathering is “access, equity, rights now”.

South African President Jacob Zuma has welcomed all international delegates who will be attending  Conference.
 
“The President said South Africa is also truly pleased to host the conference during this period when the country has been making progress in its response to the disease since the policy turnaround in 2009,” the Presidency said.
 
The quality of life of people living with HIV has improved dramatically since the policy turnaround in 2009.

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Bill Gates delivered the 14th annual Nelson Mandela Foundation lecture

17 July 2016

Bill Gates delivers 2016 Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture at University of Pretoria

Good evening ladies and gentlemen, Graça Machel, Professor Ndebele, Vice Chancellor de la Rey, members of the Mamelodi families, friends and dignitaries, it is a great honor to have the opportunity to speak today.

The theme of this year’s Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture is “living together.” This is fitting, because in many ways, “living together” was also the theme of Nelson Mandela’s life. The system he fought against was based on the opposite idea—that people should be kept apart, that our superficial differences are more important than our common humanity.

Today, South Africans are still striving to “live together” in the fullest sense, but you are so much closer to that ideal because Nelson Mandela and so many others believed in the promise of one South Africa.

I was 9 years old when Nelson Mandela went to Robben Island. As a boy, I learned about him in school. I remember seeing reports about the anti-Apartheid movement on the evening news.

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Premier management training programmes launched for the local taxi industry

Enterprises UP and Toyota South Africa geared towards implementing sound business practices and upskilling taxi associations and members

Photo (l-r): Dr Casper Kruger (Vice President: Toyota South Africa – Sales and Dealer Network). Mr Sizwe Mahlangu (National Taxi Operations Manager: Toyota South Africa), Mr Alpheus Mlalazi (General Secretary: National Taxi Industry), Prof Yolanda Jordaan (HOD: Department of Marketing Management, UP), Mr Ramodise Phillip Tsolo (CEO: Taxi Chamber – TETA) and Prof Melanie Wiese (Course Leader and Associate Professor: Department of Marketing Management, UP).

Enterprises University of Pretoria (Enterprises UP) together with Toyota South Africa and the Department of Marketing Management (UP) have launched two premier management training programmes geared towards upskilling the local taxi industry on Sunday, 3 July 2016 at Faircity Roodevallei Conference Centre outside Pretoria.

The launch was attended by delegates from the taxi industry who will be attending the programmes, members from the National Taxi Association, the Transport Education Training Authority (TETA), course presenters and lecturers from the University of Pretoria, as well as key role-players from Toyota South Africa and Enterprises UP.

“The purpose of this training initiative is to develop the different role players in the industry. In this regard, taxi associations and their members need to be empowered so that they, in turn, can operate efficiently and provide improved services to the communities they serve,” explained Dr Casper Kruger, Vice President: Toyota South Africa (Sales and Dealer Network).

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