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Morocco: lessons in political will

19 September 2018

By Greg Mills, Director of the Brenthurst Foundation

When Ridley Scott was looking for a location for his 2001 film Black Hawk Down, which depicts the disastrous 1993 US mission to capture a Somali warlord, the original site of the event, Mogadishu, was deemed to be far too dangerous. Instead they shot the film in Morocco, with the Sidi Moussa district of Salé being transformed into the Somali capital, and the 17th century medina of neighbouring Rabat becoming Mogadishu’s ‘Bakara Market’.

Photo: Dilapidated housing in Salé

Today they would have to go elsewhere. Combined with an aggressive industrialisation and job creation strategy, the 2001 launch of Morocco’s slum removal initiative, Program National d’Action pour l’Urbaine Fabric, and the subsequent Villes Sans Bidonvilles programme in 2004 have dramatically changed the face of cities across the country; all underpinned by strong growth in the economy averaging 4.3 percent since 1999.


ITU Telecom World 2019 heads to Budapest

18 September 2018
​​ ​
​​​The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the government of Hungary confirmed the hosting of the next ITU Telecom World event in Budapest, Hungary. The announcement followed a high-level meeting during ITU Telecom World 2018 being held 10-13 September in Durban, South Africa between ITU Secretary General Houlin Zhao and the Government of Hungary, represented by Péter Sztáray, State Secretary for Security Policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary.

The leading technology event for governments, corporates and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), ITU Telecom World 2019 will focus on the smart digital innovations that can enhance lives, and the key role that SMEs can play within the information and communication technology (ICT) ecosystem.


Diplomacy in Defence

18 September 2018

The distinction between conscription and national service was pointed out by Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Hon Mapisa-Nqakula when she addressed members of the media at a briefing  ahead of the 10th Africa Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (AAD) taking place at the Waterkloof Air Base in Tshwane, South Africa.

Photo: Leon Dillman, Chief Executive of the Civil Aviation Association of SA, Florence Musengi, Chairperson of South African Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Industry Association, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Sam Gulube, Secretary for Defence, Kholisile Khumalo, Youth Development program manager and Kevin Wakeford, Chief Executive Armscor


ULEMASA meets with Dirco

14 September 2018

The Union for the Local Employees in Missions Accredited to South Africa (ULEMASA) met with Mr. AJ Laubscher, Director of Immunities and Privileges at the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO). The aim of the meeting was to seek an introduction to the diplomatic missions as well as to highlight the rights of all workers in the country.

Ulemasa says that Section 23 of the South African Constitution details the rights of employees as well as employers. This section also sets out a number of labour rights, including the right to collective bargaining and to join a trade union.


Increasing tourism between Palestine and South Africa

17 September 2018

South African Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom together with his Palestinian counterpart, HE Rula Ma’Ayah Minister of Tourism and Antiquities of the State of Palestine signed a landmark tourism cooperation agreement between the countries at Constitutional Hill in Johannesburg.

The cooperation agreement was preceded by a bilateral discussion between the two countries on the occasion of Minister Ma’ Ayah's official visit to South Africa.

“We encourage South Africans to visit Palestine. We know that there are obstacles, but we are confident that just like us [SA], the people of Palestine will find peace soon. We stand in solidarity with the world in finding lasting solutions on the Palestinian question,” said Minister Hanekom in his welcoming remarks to the State of Palestine delegation.


Uruguay celebrates 193rd Anniversary

25 August 2018

The Ambassador of Uruguay Mr C E Rodriguez Zavalla hosted a reception to celebrate the 193rd anniversary of independence of Uruguay.

South Africa is his first posting as an ambassador and so it will always hold a special place in his heart, said Ambassador Rodriguez Zavalla.

Photo: Ambassador of Uruguay Mr C E Rodriguez Zavalla, Kgosi Leruo Tshekedi Molotlegi, the king of the Royal Bafokeng Nation and Mr. Daniel Martinez, Mayor of Montevideo city

Uruguay intends to continue working on strengthening its ties with the African continent in general and South Africa in particular and a number of bilateral agreements have been entered into force and a few more are currently under negotiation.


Senior Officials Migration Dialogue for Southern Africa

11 September 2018

Director-General Kgabo Mahoai delivers a keynote address at the Ceremonial Segment of the 2018 Senior Officials Migration Dialogue for Southern Africa (MIDSA).

The opening session of the 2018 MIDSA co-hosted by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) was attended by more than 200 participants that included Heads of Diplomatic Missions, United Nations Agencies, International Organisations and Permanent Secretaries/Directors-General from Southern Africa and Indian Ocean Island States.


Belgium supports SA's land reform efforts

10 September 2018

South Africa’s ongoing land expropriation efforts has the full backing of Belgium, the country’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Didier Reynders has declared.

Reynders was speaking during a joint press briefing with his South African counterpart, Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, upon the conclusion of a working visit in Pretoria.

“We are sure that we need to be firm on the issue of land reform because from the beginning of the reconciliation process, land reform was the focus,” he said.

He acknowledged that Section 25 of the Constitution was being reviewed through a parliamentary process.


Sanctions and Blockade -A Crime against Humanity Aimed at Venezuela

13 September 2018

By Embassy of Venezuela in South Africa

The following report contains arguments and facts which demonstrate the deepening of the policy of hostility and aggression by the United States of America towards the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

This policy is expressed with particular intensity through the adoption of legislation in 2015 that authorizes the imposition of unilateral coercive measures (sanctions) against the Venezuelan economy. 




100th Anniversary of Czechia

10 September 2018

Dr. Michal Král, Ambassador of the Czech Republic in Pretoria speaks about the 100th Anniversary of the Czech Republic.
Diplomatic Society (DS): The Czech Republic was born in 1993, so why do you celebrate your National Day on 28 October as 100th Anniversary?
Ambassador Král (HE): You are quite right. The Czech Republic, or in short Czechia, as we know it today, came into being after a friendly (some use the word “velvet”) dissolution of Czechoslovakia on the 1st January 1993. But it existed long before – within the federal system of Czechoslovakia –and is a direct political successor and heir of Czechoslovakia in terms of international law.
What we commemorate this year is the 100th Anniversary since the restoration of the Czech sovereign statehood in its historical borders, after three centuries of the Czech Lands, originally an independent duchy and since 12th century a kingdom, having been part of the Austrian and later the Austro-Hungarian Empire which ruined itself in a very unfortunate way due to WWI.


Austrian Leadership Programs (ALPS)

10 September 2018

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.

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August 2018







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