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  • H.E. Ambassador Tian Xuejun
  • His Excellency Mr. Kwesi Ahwoi, High Commissioner of the Republic of Ghana to South Africa
  • H.E. Dr. Pornchai Danvivathana, Ambassador of Thailand in South Africa
  • Ambassador of Nepal Mr Amrit Bahadur Rai
  • Ambassador of Mexico Mr. Mauricio Escanero
  • G20
 
 

News                                                                               
 

67th Anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China

H.E. Ambassador Tian Xuejun and Madame Qiao Jie hosted a reception on the occasion of the 67th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China.

Photo: Raising a toast are Ambassador Tian Xuejun and Madame Qiao Jie with Mrs Tobeka Madiba Zuma, First Lady of South Africa.

Speaking about the progress China has made over the past 67 years Ambassador Tian Xuejun said, "In the space of 67 years since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the Chinese people, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, have successfully pioneered a socialist development path of distinct Chinese features, and have fundamentally reshaped the course of the whole nation. Especially over the past three decades of reform and opening up, China has transformed itself from a poor and rather closed country to the world's second largest economy, lifting over 700 million population out of poverty. Today, China prides itself as the world's biggest trader in goods, the third largest global investor, and the biggest trading partner of over 120 countries. In the first half of this year, despite slow world economic growth, China has maintained a sound economic momentum with a growth rate of 6.7%, contributing 26% to the world economic growth. And Chinese investment abroad has increased by 53%. Such vigor and vitality of our economy has given the international community strong confidence over the bright development prospects of China."

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GHANAFEST SA 2016, Another Resounding Success

GHANAFEST SA 2016, which commenced on Saturday, 17th September, 2016, with a colourful display of Ghanaian traditional cultural performances, alongside a trade show of apparel, artifacts, made-in-Ghana products, drumming, dancing, and rhythmic musical talents, came to an end on Monday, 19th September, 2016, with a two-day well-stocked business exhibition of Ghanaian textile and garments, Ghanaian processed and canned foods, unique hand woven traditional cloth, bags, slippers, alcoholic beverages, chocolates etc, as well as ready-to-be worn off the rack Ghanaian designed apparel, which were brought in by business operators from Ghana.

Welcoming the large crowd to the event on Saturday, 17th September, 2016, at the Magnolia Dell Park, His Excellency Mr. Kwesi Ahwoi, High Commissioner of the Republic of Ghana to South Africa recalled the virtues and vision of our Great African Leader and First President of the Republic of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, as well as his revolutionary leadership in Africa and Ghana in particular, a vision of one united Africa, which the GHANAFEST SA celebration epitomised.

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Thai Festival 2016

The Royal Thai Embassy in Pretoria in cooperation with the Thai Marketing Organization for Farmers and the Food Lover's Market of South Africa organized the first Thai Festival on 23 September 2016 at Woodlands Boulevard Mall in Pretoria.

The Festival showcased Thai fresh fruits, namely Monthong Durian, Namdokmai Mango, Sriracha Pineapple and Tamarind, as well as dried Jack Fruit and dried Pineapple. Thai silk and fruit and vegetable carvings were also in the show.

Photo: H.E. Dr. Pornchai Danvivathana, Ambassador of Thailand in South Africa and Mrs Danvivathana pictured with Mr Ajay Sooklal.

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Signs of Optimism in Strengthening the Foundations of Canada – Sri Lanka Ties
 
By Srimal Fernando Global Editor Diplomatic Society  

Photo: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets President Maithripala Sirisena on the sidelines of the G7 Summit in Japan

For the last two years the new government in Sri Lanka has created newfound optimism in the relationship with many western countries, laying a foundation of trust. Now, the Sri Lankan government is moving closer and is taking steps  to strengthen  diplomatic ties with Canada after years of tense relations.

In July this year, the visiting Canadian Foreign Minister Dion said, “In Colombo and Jaffna, I witnessed promising signs of progress and I urged that much more be done in the areas of constitutional reform, human rights and reconciliation for all peoples of the Island‎. I was also deeply moved to hear first-hand from people who have suffered from this civil war.”  This official visit of a Foreign Minister of Canada to Sri Lanka took place after thirteen years. During the Canadian Foreign Minister’s visit to Sri Lanka he announced two project initiatives towards Sri Lanka namely the National Languages Equality Advancement Project and the Entrepreneur Financial Centre Project totalling 20 million Canadian dollars.

Canadian Aid has played a major role in Sri Lanka’s development efforts since the 1950s. Over the past 60 years, Canadian bilateral Official development assistance (ODA) played a major role in Sri Lanka.  In the year 1980 to 1981 Canadian bilateral ODA to Sri Lanka was $ 37 .69 million and the level of aid from 1987 to 1988 amounted to $ 24.5 million (Hull: Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) , 1989 ).  Canadian Aid has made a significant difference to communities in Sri Lanka.

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Celebrating the National Day of Nepal

H.E. Mr Amrit Bahadur Rai, Ambassador of Nepal to South Africa and Mrs Manju Rai hosted a reception to celebrate the National Day of Nepal. They are pictured with Attaché - G Gyanwali (l) and Counsellor - B P Gautam. Speaking about the newly declared national day of Nepal, Ambassador Rai explained that on the 20th of September 2015, the Constituent Assembly of Nepal promulgated the new constitution as the successful conclusion of the peace process that started in 2006 and on that day, a new chapter unfolded in Nepal’s history.

Ambassador Rai said, "The promulgation of the new constitution by the Constituent Assembly was a culmination of the Peace process which has fulfilled not only the long-held aspiration of Nepali people to have a constitution drafted by their own elected representative but also transformed the country from centralized unitary system to federal dispensation by embracing the value of multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-religious, multi-cultural, and geographically diverse characteristics of the country. The Constitution has envisioned an egalitarian society by ending all kinds of discrimination on the ground of class, ethnicity, region, language, religion, gender and all kinds of caste-based social prejudices. It has embraced all the essential features of democratic and inclusive governance."

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Celebrating the 206th Anniversary of Independence of Mexico

Ambassador of Mexico Mr. Mauricio Escanero hosted a reception at his official residence in Pretoria to commemorate the 206th Anniversary of the Independence of Mexico.

Photo: Ambassador Mauricio Escanero and Minister Lindiwe Zulu, Minister of Small Business Development of South Africa toasting to Mexico's 206th Anniversary of Independence.

In his remarks Ambassador Escanero said that the celebration "is also an opportunity for celebrating the friendship and cooperation between Mexico and South Africa, two beautiful nations rich in history and natural and cultural diversity.

Today, Mexico and South Africa are working together to position our relations in a higher level of strategic priority, in accordance with their true potential.  We are working on all fronts, enhancing our political dialogue, our bilateral legal framework, our economic links, our cultural and academic exchanges, and our cooperation for development."

There are a series of high-profile cultural activities that will take place to continue strengthening the bonds of friendship and cooperation between Mexico and South Africa. Ambassador Escanero shared with guests the Mexican flagship program “Ven a Comer” (“Come and Enjoy our Cuisine”). A unique gastronomic collaboration between Mexico's top chef, Jorge Vallejo, and local gastronomical star, Luke Dale-Roberts was inaugurated. The well-known Mexican traditional cook Abigail Mendoza will also visit South Africa in October and November to share Mexico's culinary culture, which has been recognized as World Heritage by UNESCO.

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Argentina and Brazil: 25th anniversary of a strategic landmark in nuclear cooperation

By Susana Malcorra and José Serra*

On 18 July, we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the signature by Argentina and Brazil of the Guadalajara Agreement for the Exclusively Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy. Among other innovations, the Agreement provides for the creation of the Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials (ABACC), for the purpose of verifying the commitment undertaken by Argentina and Brazil to unequivocally pursue the exclusively peaceful use of nuclear energy, and to administrate the Common System of Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials.

A few months later, in December 1991, the two countries signed the Quadripartite Agreement with the ABACC and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It was the first time that Argentina and Brazil negotiated with an international organization as a single delegation. In a short period of time, the fundamental framework of the strategic bilateral relationship between Argentina and Brazil was developed, favouring an atmosphere of peace, mutual trust, and cooperation between the two countries that still endures.

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Light Speed – Solar Car Race – SA

22 September 2016

The Lodz Solar Team, a group of students from Lodz University of Technology in Poland will participate in the Solar Challenge South Africa.

They will compete with 14 local and international teams racing their solar powered cars from Pretoria to Cape Town, a distance of 2000km over eight days, from 24 September to 1October 2016. (http://www.solarchallenge.org.za)

H.E. Anna Raduchowska-Borchwicz, Ambassador of Poland to South Africa hosted the students at her residence where they made a presentation of their unique vehicle. They placed 6th in the Australia challenge in 2015 and received the best performing team and safest car awards.

Many of the students are in South Africa for the first time and have hosted several workshops on photo voltaic technology. South African climate is very conducive to solar energy technologies.

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Free education is possible if South Africa moves beyond smoke and mirrors

Salim Vally, University of Johannesburg; Enver Motala, University of Fort Hare; Leigh-Ann Naidoo, University of the Witwatersrand; Mondli Hlatshwayo, University of Johannesburg; Rasigan Maharajh, Tshwane University of Technology, and Zolisa Marawu, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

South Africa’s universities are once again in uproar. Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande has outlined how higher education should deal with fee increments for 2017. His announcement sparked anger and a great deal of confusion.

Neither smoke from police stun grenades, burning buildings nor officialdom’s smoke and mirrors will solve the problem.

We’re surprised that many didn’t anticipate the fallout from Nzimande’s statement. There are several reasons for students’ anger toward the state and university managements.

The most immediate is that Nzimande’s statement dealt with fee increments but sidestepped the fundamental issue: an ongoing call to make higher education free for all.

It is clear to us that very little will be resolved without reference to this critical demand. All the minister has done is to kick the can further down the road, deepening students' disquiet and provoking conflict on campuses.

It is disingenuous to scold students for “protecting the rich” and “increasing inequality” through their demands for universal quality education. The state cannot merely exhort citizens to patiently await an increase in economic growth and its trickle downward, while blaming “selfish” students for taking resources allocated elsewhere.

There are revenue sources that can be examined carefully and accessed to fund free education for all, at all levels. This can happen while other social needs are simultaneously met. The most important of these sources is raising more tax from the super rich and stopping the illicit outflow of capital.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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South Africa, Cuba strengthen health cooperation

22 September 2016

Pretoria - South African Deputy Health Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla met his Cuban counterpart, Dr Marcia Cobas Ruiz, to evaluate existing bilateral agreements in the field of health.

The two visited Tembisa Hospital in Gauteng’s East Rand as part of a programme aimed at strengthening health cooperation between South Africa and Cuba.

Deputy Minister Phaahla said there are approximately 900 fourth-year medical students from South Africa who are studying in Cuba, who are expected to return to the country in their final year in 2018.

He said Cuba and South Africa’s bilateral agreements date as far back as 1996 when the Health Ministry, through a bilateral agreement with the Ministry of Public Health of Cuba, initiated cooperation in the health field.

The cooperation, known as the Nelson Mandela-Fidel Castro Collaboration, consists of three elements, including the undergraduate training programme; recruitment and exchange of health professionals and academics; and exchange in biotechnological and innovation in health.

The two countries this year commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Nelson Mandela-Fidel Castro Medical Doctors’ Programme.

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As 71st General Assembly opens, new President pledges to ‘turn the wheels’ on implementing 17 Global Goals

13 September 2016 – The United Nations General Assembly opened its 71st session, with an emphasis on ensuring that implementation of the new global development goals, adopted by its 193 Member States last year, is well underway.

“The 70th Session launched the SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals], and for integrity’s sake the 71st must be the year we witness the wheels turning on the implementation of all 17 SDGs,” the President of the General Assembly, Peter Thomson, said as he took an oath of office before proceeding to open the new session.

Mr. Thomson, who had had been serving as the Permanent Representative of Fiji to the United Nations until his appointment, said that the theme of the 71st session is ‘The Sustainable Development Goals: A Universal Push to Transform our World.’

On 1 January 2016, the 17 SDGs of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — adopted by world leaders in September last year – officially came into force. Over the next fifteen years, with the aim of achieving the SDGs, countries will mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind.

The new Assembly President noted that it had been heartening to observe the sincerity with which governments and national planning agencies around the world have begun integrating the 2030 Agenda into national processes.

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