Vietnam - A Country of Peace
22 June 2016
Following a visit by H.E. Mr. Do Thang Hai, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Trade and Industries, to South Africa on 7 June 2016 for the 3rd Session of the South Africa – Vietnam Joint Trade Committee, greater trade, investment and tourism is expected between the two countries.
Business to business discussions held at the Vietnam Embassy explored opportunities in textiles, electronics, food and agriculture, coal and timber amongst others.
Photo: H.E Mr. Le Huy Hoang, Ambassador of Vietnam to South Africa presenting Vietnam to prospective trade, investment and tourism people.
A Vietnam-South Africa Trade, Investment and Tourism Promotion Forum was held in conjunction with the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Vietnam Embassy in South Africa shortly after Minister Do Thang Hai’s visit, indicating Vietnam’s commitment to increasing bilateral exchanges.
Agriculture in Poland
17 June 2016
Poland is an important European and global producer of agricultural, horticultural and animal products. In 2014, the global value of the agricultural production amounted to PLN 106 billion.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and the Rural Development of the Republic of Poland, Hon Jacek Bogucki made an official visit to the Republic of South Africa from 17 to 21 June 2016.
The delegation of Animal Health Inspection, Krzysztof Jażdżewski, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and the Rural Development, Tomasz Zmiejko and Senior Expert at the Department of International Cooperation, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and the Rural Development, Sylwia Zajączkowska – Jakimiak.
Photo: Deputy Minister Bogucki, Ambassador Raduchowska – Brochwicz and Minister Nkwinti
The Polish Deputy Minister Bogucki participated in official talks with the SA Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Mr Senzeni Zokwana, Mr Gugile Nkwinti the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform and SA companies in Pretoria.
South African Ambassador and musicians welcomed at European University Institute
Reaching out to the far southern hemisphere, on Saturday 25 June the European University Institute welcomed a group of young South African musicians to perform for the EUI community and its friends.
Under the instruction and direction of Berthine van Schoor, one of South Africa’s finest cellists, Sifiso Khebeza, Neo Buthelezi and Mpho Ngobeni made their European debut playing for an international audience at the EUI’s villa Schifanoia in Florence.
The young artists are all students of Ms. Van Schoor’s cello academy community outreach project in Pretoria. The project allows for young cellists from previously disadvantaged communities to receive world-class cello instruction.
Photo: Musicians Berthine van Schoor, Sifiso Khebeza, Neo Buthelezi and Mpho Ngobeni pictured with EUI Secretary-General Vincenzo Schioppa Narrante, formerly Italy’s Ambassador to South Africa (l) and South African Ambassador to Italy Nomatemba Tambo
The South African Ambassador to Italy Nomatemba Tambo visited the EUI on the occasion, expressing her enthusiasm for the beautiful research environment of the Institute and her hopes for future collaborative efforts involving her country. It is the first time that a representative from South Africa has visited the Institute.
AU Launches Kenya Internet Exchange Point of Presence in Mombasa: “Keeping intra-regional internet traffic within the region”
Mombasa, Kenya – 23rd June, 2016
The African Union Commission (AUC), through the Infrastructure and Energy Department, in collaboration with the Ministry of Information, Communications & Technology of Kenya launched the Kenya Internet Exchange Point of Presence in Mombasa on 23rd June 2016.
Through the African Internet Exchange System (AXIS) project of the African Union Commission, Member States with internet exchange points have increased from eighteen to thirty two. The Commission has further provided grants to six internet exchange points to be supported to become regional internet exchange points.
Under the grant awarded to the Kenya Internet Exchange point, the following four areas are to be supported; Capacity Building, the KIXP Site in Mombasa, the GSM Regional Exchange (GRX) and promotion of KIXP as a regional internet exchange “In the context of celebrating 50 years, the AU Heads of State and Government agreed to develop a Continental Agenda 2063.
Successful Africa Day celebrations in Oslo
The South African mission in Oslo co-hosted the Africa Day celebrations together with its African counterparts at the Center for African Culture in the Norwegian capital.
The sunny afternoon was filled with speeches, musical entertainment and stands where the different African embassies displayed some of their mantelpieces, promotional material and culinary treats.
Attendees included Ambassadors from the African embassies in Oslo, State Secretary Tone Skogen (Conservatives), members of the diplomatic corps, business contacts as well as friends of Africa.
The event's focus was naturally on unifying the African continent, and both the entertainment and speeches paid homage to this.
'We should continue our support to the efforts made and actions implemented by the African Union and sub-regional organizations which contribute to boost Africa's much sought integration and cooperation in all fields, with a common vision of a united and strong Africa.
Flanders Day 2016
The General Representation of the Government of Flanders and the Flemish Economic Representation in South Africa hosted a reception to celebrate Flanders Day. Dr. Geraldine Reymenants, General Representative of the Government of Flanders in her remarks spoke about Flanders cooperation with South Africa. The cooperation began in the mid nineties and "he cooperation with South Africa, as well as with the region, has always taken local needs and challenges as its starting point. However, those needs and challenges have evolved enormously – and often positively – over the years. In such a way that needs and challenges have now become opportunities. The nature of our cooperation has likewise evolved towards a balanced partnership that focusses on dialogue, exchange, sustainability and impact," said Dr Reymenants.
Photo: (l-r) Flemish Economic Representative Marc Schiltz, Dr. Geraldine Reymenants General Representative of the Government of Flanders, Flemish Development Counsellor Katrien Dejongh and guest speaker Pat Pillay.
The Value of Diplomacy: Britain and Sri Lanka Bilateral Relations
By Srimal Fernando Global Editor, The Diplomatic Society
The British presence in Sri Lankan affairs dates back to the eighteenth century. In this regard, since independence in 1948 from Great Britain, Sri Lanka's relationship with Britain has stood the test of time over the decades. Today the diplomatic relations between the two countries is more meaningful and constructive. Britain has become one of the top trade partners of Sri Lanka with over 200 UK companies operating on the island and having a two-way turnover reaching US$1.2 billion.
Photo: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, welcomes Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena to Buckingham Palace
In the early eighties, Britain enjoyed a very close economic relationship with Sri Lanka. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, visited Sri Lanka twice since independence, first in 1953 and then in 1981. During her second visit to Sri Lanka in October 1981 at the celebration of 50 years of adult franchise in the island nation she said “Britain and Sri Lanka have had a long association, which has remained cordial throughout all the constitutional changes affecting our relationship, and our two countries now stand together as equal, independent members of the Commonwealth. We may be geographically far apart, but through our historic links and our common beliefs, we have developed feelings of mutual regard which overcome the tyranny of distance. We are friends and shall remain so.”
The 20th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Serbia and the Republic of South Africa
The Embassy of the Republic of Serbia in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of South Africa marked the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Serbia and the Republic of South Africa at the level of Ambassadors, on 19 May 2016. On that occasion, a reception was held in Freedom Park in Pretoria, since the diplomatic relations were established on Freedom Day on 27 April, the National Day of South Africa.
Photo: Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia H.E. Bozin Nikolic addressing guests
Approximately 200 guests attended the reception, including representatives of the Government of South Africa, diplomatic corps, industry, media, Serbian and Greek Church and communities, along with representatives of the Russian and Romanian Churches. Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia H.E. Bozin Nikolic addressed the audience along with Ms. Valerie Reni, who spoke on behalf of the Government of SA.
In his address, Ambassador Nikolic emphasised the historical and friendly ties between the two countries, Serbia's support to the then leaders of the independence movement, as well as the contribution of previous ambassadors to the advancement of the overall cooperation with South Africa.
Celebrating 70 years of King Bhumibol of Thailand's Accession to the Throne
9 June 2016
Dr. Pornchai Danvivathana, Ambassador of Thailand in South Africa hosted a reception at his official residence for the Seventieth Anniversary Celebrations of His Majesty’s Accession to the Throne.
In his remarks Ambassador Danvivathana highlighted His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej's achievements during his reign. These achievements, he said, were due to the King’s vast knowledge, understanding and expertise in the fields of agriculture, science and engineering. The King initiated the Royal Projects which have proved so successful that the United Nations hopes to emulate them in other countries with similar problems to Thailand.
Photo: Dr. Pornchai Danvivathana, Ambassador of Thailand in South Africa is pictured with the staff of the Embassy
Filipino Art and Craftsmanship exhibited
05 June 2016
“Expressions,” an art exhibit sponsored by the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi in coordination with the Philippine Ladies Circle officially opened at the Millennium Corniche Hotel.
Ambassador Vingno welcomed the invited guests and the diplomatic corps who were present during the event. The exhibit showcased the creations of six equally-talented Filipino artists, both based in the Philippines and in the UAE. Madame Yoko Ramos-Vingno, chairman of the Philippine Ladies Circle Abu Dhabi, proudly introduced to the public the artists who participated in the event.
Photo: Ambassador Constancio R. Vingno Jr. (centre) and Madame Yoko Ramos-Vingno (3rd from left) with Artists (l-r) : Susan Villanueva, Xyza Bacani, Dee Dipon, Rico Tompong and Esmin Pangilinan
Paintings of Dee Dipon, Esmi Pangilinan, Rico Tompong and Susan Villanueva were displayed at the venue together with the photo exhibit of Xyza Bacani. The celebrity bag designer’s, Anna Rubio, handmade bags were also opened to the public.
Norway Enhanced Stability and Development in Asia and Africa
By Srimal Fernando Global Editor, The Diplomatic Society
Over the past five decades, Norway built an outstanding reputation as one of the largest foreign aid donors in the world and started to play a foremost role in the areas of peace building and development in Asia and in Africa since the early eighties. Norway began providing development co-operation assistance to Asia and Africa from 1960 and has contributed almost 59.1 billion Kroners in development aid to Asia and 124.7 billion Kroners to Africa in the past fifty years (Norad 2015).
Photo: Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Foreign Minister Borge Brende
In 2015 during the new year's address Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said “In recent decades, our petroleum activities have been an engine of economic growth. They have created huge revenues and secure jobs, and have made it possible for us to develop one of the best welfare societies in the world. Many Norwegians are working in other parts of the world to make a difference for other people. Soldiers serving abroad, aid workers in humanitarian organisations or engaged in UN operations”.