CONGRATULATIONS! INDONESIAN AMBASSADOR TO SOUTH AFRICA ELECTED AS SECRETARY GENERAL OF IORA 2022-2024

The Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia (RI) to South Africa, Salman Al Farisi was elected as Secretary General of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) for the period 2022-2024. The appointment of the Secretary General of the IORA was carried out at the 21st IORA Ministerial Meeting (PTM) in Dhaka, Bangladesh today.

Apart from Indonesia, representatives from Malaysia and Sri Lanka were also nominated for the position of Secretary General of the IORA.

“The election of a representative from Indonesia as Secretary General of the IORA is very proud. For the first time an Indonesian representative has held the highest strategic position in the IORA since its formation in 1997, and this was achieved through good diplomatic efforts,” said Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi in a written statement, Wednesday. (17/11/2021).

After the election, Retno expressed her appreciation for the support given by IORA member countries to Indonesian candidates. He believes that as Secretary General of IORA, Salman will contribute optimally in developing the organization.

“With his vast experience, Ambassador Al Farisi will make a maximum contribution in developing the organization and increasing the capacity of the IORA Secretariat in order to better serve and facilitate member countries,” he concluded.

Retno also expressed her appreciation for the selection process for the Secretary General of the IORA which was carried out in a balanced, transparent and inclusive manner. According to him, this is important to strengthen IORA’s institutional capacity.

“In a challenging situation like now, IORA members have no choice but to unite and collaborate to overcome the pandemic together and encourage economic recovery. Let’s work together, recover together, recover stronger,” he said.

According to Retno, the election of a candidate from Indonesia as Secretary General of the IORA is a concrete manifestation of President Joko Widodo’s mission to place the nation’s best sons and daughters in international organizations.

Indonesia’s leadership as Secretary General of Indonesia is expected to contribute to the promotion of cooperation with the IORA. Indonesia hopes that IORA can move faster and be able to face challenges both now and in the future.

Indonesia Reaffirms Its Commitment to Development in Africa

Indonesia itself has an active role in the IORA. In 2017, for the first time IORA held a summit in Indonesia, as well as in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the founding of IORA.

Retno explained that maritime and fisheries cooperation, which is IORA’s core competency, particularly related to sea-based sustainable economic development, is very close to Indonesia’s national interests. Indonesia’s representation at the IORA as the Secretary General is expected to be able to contribute to the development of a marine-based economy in Indonesia, and at the same time be able to raise the profile of Indonesia’s leadership in the international arena.

For information, Ambassador Salman Al Farisi will carry out his duties as Secretary General of the IORA effective January 1, 2022, with a term of office for three years. The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) is the pioneer and the only regional organization with coverage throughout the Indian Ocean region.

The main priorities for cooperation within the IORA framework include strengthening economic, maritime and sustainable development cooperation within the Indian Ocean Region. IORA has 23 member countries and 9 dialogue partners.

The Saudi Green Initiative leads the way to a Sustainable Future

17 November 2021

Saudi Arabia recognizes the responsibility it bears in the fight against unsustainable climate change as a leading global oil producer. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is already engineering innovative solutions to help combat the escalating global climate crisis. In its endeavour to contribute to a sustainable future, its world leading Green Initiative will go a long way in contributing to the development of renewable resources.

With patronage at the highest level in the person of HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi Green Initiative will chart a path for the Kingdom’s contribution to a sustainable planet.  Since the launch of Vision 2030 in 2016, the Kingdom has taken significant steps to scale up its pro-climate action and environmental protection. The Saudi Green Initiative will propel the efforts to the next level by unifying all sustainability initiatives in the Kingdom. This will underpin reliance on clean energy and offset the impact of fossil fuels while combating climate change.

In October, the Saudi Green Initiative Forum unveiled the roadmap for delivery and shone the spotlight on the Kingdom’s “Green” efforts. Global leaders graced the event to gain a greater understanding of the innovative solutions under development to help tackle climate change.

The Saudi Green Initiative will oversee all of Saudi Arabia’s work to combat climate change, working collaboratively with government ministries, the private sector, and foreign governments to amplify various environmental efforts on climate change.

The Middle East Green Initiative (MGI) was announced alongside the Saudi Green Initiative. It complements the latter’s on an international scale and will coordinate efforts with sister countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, other Middle Eastern countries, as well as other international governments.

The Saudi Green Initiative intends to improve the quality of life and protect the interests of future generations by increasing reliance on clean energy that will offset the impact of fossil fuels, thereby protecting the environment. In a “whole-of-government” approach, Saudi Green Initiative works with entities and organizations across the Kingdom to synergise their current actions. It also creates opportunities for new initiatives, bridges the gap between public and private sustainability efforts, by identifying opportunities for collaboration and innovation.

Saudi Arabia’s crown Prince launched a Middle East Green Initiative which he said it is aimed to secure 39 billion riyals ($10.4 billion) for an investment fund and clean energy project as part of efforts to reduce regional carbon emissions. Through the Middle East Green Initiative, Saudi Arabia will spearhead regional efforts to achieve global targets to combat climate change.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the kingdom, would contribute 15% of the funds and would work with other states and development funds on the funding and execution of the initiatives. “As part of the kingdom’s leading role in developing energy markets, it will work to establish an investment fund for carbon circular economy solutions in the region and an initiative to offer clean energy solutions to help feed more than 750 million people worldwide,” he said.

When the region announced plans for the Middle East Green Initiative in March, the prince said it aimed to reduce carbon emissions in the region’s hydrocarbon industry by 60% and reverse desertification in one of world’s most water-stressed regions by planting billions of trees.

Saudi Arabia has said its own Saudi Green Initiative programme will involve investments of over 700 billion riyals ($190 billion) by 2030. Prince Mohammed pledged that Saudi Arabia would reach “net zero” emissions by 2060. Fellow Gulf state Bahrain has pledged the same and the United Arab Emirates has committed to doing so by 2050.

Burning fossil fuels is the biggest source emissions and achieving net zero means a country emits no more greenhouse gases than it can capture or absorb.

Saudi Arabia will help create the necessary infrastructure by establishing a regional carbon capture and storage centre, a regional early storm-warning centre, a regional cloud seeding programme, and a hub for climate change according to Prince Mohammed during the launch.

 “The Saudi and Middle East Green Initiatives are only a start. The Kingdom, the region and the world needs to go much further and faster in combatting climate change. Beginning this journey to a greener future has not been easy, but we are not avoiding tough choices. We reject the false choice between preserving the economy and protecting the environment,” he emphasised.

The climate crisis is urgent and the planet is warming up at an unprecedented rate, affecting our environment and the lives of Saudis. Cutting carbon emissions is critical to slowing and reversing climate change. Through a growing portfolio of renewable energy projects, carbon capture initiatives, and a massive energy efficiency push for buildings, industry, and transport, Saudi Arabia is scaling up and uniting efforts to reduce carbon emissions under the Saudi Green Initiative mandate. And that spells a sustainable future!

By Susan Novela, The Diplomatic Informer Magazine SA

MINISTER PANDOR ATTENDS THE 21ST IORA COUNCIL OF MINISTER’S MEETING

16 November 2021

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, arrived, this afternoon, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, to attend the 21st Meeting of the Indian Ocean Rim Association’s (IORA) Council of Ministers (COM) scheduled to take place on 17 November 2021.

This will be the last meeting that South Africa attend as a member of the IORA Troika, as the Association’s past Chair (2017-2019), and where Bangladesh will take over the chairship from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with Sri Lanka becoming the Vice-Chair.

The COM, to be held under the theme: “Harnessing the opportunities of the Indian Ocean sustainably for inclusive development”, will have to appoint the next Secretary-General of the Association.

Three Member States nominated senior Ambassadors as candidates for the position, i.e. Indonesia, Malaysia and Sri Lanka and an extensive interview process is being conducted to select the most suitable candidate to be considered and approved by the COM, the apex decision-making body of IORA. The COM will also approve the 2nd IORA Action Plan (2022-2027) and formalise the Vision of IORA for the Indo-Pacific.

The Meeting will also approve the Dialogue Partner Membership of the Russian Federation, resulting in all P5 members being Dialogue Partners of IORA, as well as the application by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, bringing the total number of Dialogue Partners to 11 together with the 24 Member States of IORA.

The COVID-19 pandemic had a detrimental effect on the members of the Association, like everywhere else in the world, and the Minister will utilise the opportunity to address the Member States and Dialogue Partners at the Strategic Dialogue session with Dialogue Partners on; “The Impact of Covid-19 and perspectives of economic recovery in the Indian Ocean Region”.

South Africa will continue to lead the IORA Working Group of the Blue Economy. It will also become the Chair of the Indian Ocean Rim Academic Group (IORAG) as well as remain very active as a Cluster Group Member of the majority of Working and Core Groups of IORA.

EGYPT’S AMBASSADOR TO SOUTH AFRICA HOSTS HIS BEATITUDE POPE THEODORE II, THE GREEK ORTHODOX PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA AND ALL AFRICA

15 November 2021

On Friday 12 November 2021, Egypt’s Ambassador to South Africa Ahmed El Fadly received His Beatitude Pope Theodore II, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa upon his arrival at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. Pope Theodore II is visiting South Africa and Botswana during the period 12 to 26 November 2021 as part of a wider tour that includes a number of African countries.

Later on Friday, Ambassador El Fadly hosted a luncheon in honor of Pope Theodore II in Egypt’s Ambassadorial Residence in Pretoria which was attended by representatives of the Greek Orthodox Churches and the Coptic Church in South Africa, Ambassadors of the Orthodox countries accredited to South Africa, including the Ambassadors of Cyprus, Bulgaria, Georgia, Ukraine and Belarus, the Chargé d’Affaires of the Greek Embassy and the Consul of Greece in Johannesburg as well as a number of patriarchs, clergy and heads of the Greek and Cypriot Communities in South Africa.

Pope Theodore II has on several occasions praised the role of Egypt and its support to the Patriarchate in Egypt. His Beatitude emphasized that Egypt has always been and remains a welcoming and hospitable country to everyone. His Beatitude acknowledged the strong support that the Patriarchate receives from Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi whom Pope Theodore II described as an ‘enlightened president’.

During the luncheon, Ambassador El Fadly welcomed Pope Theodore II. “Pope Theodore II is an Egyptian-Greek religious authority present in Egypt; the cradle of civilizations and religions where a number of prophets and messengers resided.” El Fadly said. “Egypt is always proud of the presence of various religious statures in its land, led by His Eminence the Grand Imam Ahmed Al Tayyeb, Sheikh of Al Azhar Al Sharif, and His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark in Egypt” El Fadly added.

Ambassador El Fadly added that they are also honored by the presence of Pope Theodore II in Egypt given the historical ties with the Greek community, whose presence in Egypt was not limited to major cities, but also spread in smaller towns and villages across Egypt. “Pope Theodore II has strong ties with all Egyptian churches through the Council of Churches in Egypt.” El Fadly said. “Pope Theodore II also maintains good relations with the Egyptian State in general, given the importance that President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi attaches to Christians in Egypt.”

During his visit to South Africa, Pope Theodore II, Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa for the Greek Orthodox will visit the Holy Diocese of Johannesburg and Pretoria, in addition to meeting members of the Cypriot brotherhood and the Greek community, and visiting a number of historical, tourist and religious monuments in South Africa.

By Ayman Walash, Counselor – Head of the Press & Information Office, Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Pretoria, South Africa

ADDRESS BY PRESIDENT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA AT THE OPENING OF THE 2021 INTRA-AFRICAN TRADE FAIR

 

15 November 2021

Your Excellency Felix Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Chair of the African Union,
Your Excellency Olusegun Obasanjo, Chair of the Intra-African Trade Fair Advisory Council and Former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,
Your Excellency Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission and co-convener of the Intra-African Trade Fair,
Your Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,
Your Excellency Hakainde Hichilema, President of the Republic of Zambia,
Your Excellency Emmerson Mnangagwa, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe,
Your Excellency Lazarus Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi,
Your Excellency Édouard Ngirente, Prime Minister of the Republic of Rwanda,
Your Excellency Hussein Mwinyi, President of Zanzibar,
Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Mr Sihle Zikalala,
Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Mr Ebrahim Patel,
President of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank and co-convener of the Intra-African Trade Fair, Professor Benedict Oramah,
Members of the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat,
Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
MECs,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Photo: His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa, accompanied by visiting Heads of State & Government, cuts the ribbon to mark the Official Opening of the #IAFT2021 Exhibition at Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Conference Centre, eThekwini, KwaZulu-Natal

I am extremely proud to be addressing the Intra-African Trade Fair.

On the first of January 2021 the African Continental Free Trade Area commenced trading, making this Trade Fair the first to take place since we reached the most significant milestone in our quest for African economic integration.

In 2018 the first Intra-African Trade Fair opened in Egypt, in the ancient city of Cairo.

Today, it is opening in the southernmost tip of Africa.

In due course, we hope the IATF will be held in all parts of the continent.

This fair belongs to us all.

The goods, products and services exhibited at the fair represent all the countries of Africa, and its success rests on the participation of all of us.

The AfCFTA aspires to connect all the regions of Africa, to deepen economic integration and to boost intra-African trade and investment.

It aspires to create a single market for goods and services across 55 countries and our continent, creating a market of as much as 1.3 billion people with a combined GDP of $3.4 trillion.

This year’s Intra-African Trade Fair is about building bridges.

It brings together governments, buyers, investors, entrepreneurs and manufacturers from more than 55 countries to give life to the African Continental Free Trade Area.

The countries of Africa are open for business.

Photos: His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa
accompanied by former President of Nigeria, His Excellency Olusegun Obasanjo, received African Heads of State and Government at the Intra African Trade Fair 2021) in KwaZulu-Natal

#IATF2021 #OneAfricanMarket

Since ancient times, trade has been the engine that connected communities both near and far.

From the ancient centres of learning like Alexandria and Timbuktu, to the northern civilisations in Egypt and Carthage, the western Kingdoms of Ghana, Mali, and Songhai, the trans-Saharan trade routes, the eastern trading centres of Zanzibar, Mombasa and Mogadishu, to the ancient southern civilisations of Great Zimbabwe and Mapungubwe, for many centuries Africans traded the goods that they produced.

Throughout history, Africa has had a network of trade routes that facilitated the flow of goods such as beads, carvings, ivory, gold, gum, metal works, salt, textiles and metals.

These trade routes enabled African traders to seek out markets beyond the continent.

Colonialism deeply damaged the indigenous development of African trade and caused great harm to our societies.

At first, Europeans traded in African lives, carrying millions of slaves across the Atlantic to produce the wealth of their new-found colonies.

Then, with the realisation of Africa’s vast raw materials, colonial powers turned to the extraction of Africa’s minerals and agricultural products.

Much of the economic storyline of colonialism persists to this day.

Now Africa is taking concrete steps to write its own economic success story.

It is opening up new fields of opportunity.

One such opportunity is in Africa’s rapid adoption of locally developed fintech, of which M-PESA is the most well-known.

It is an example of financial and technological innovation in which Africa leads the world.

A recent report from the Brookings Institution notes that Africa “is already the largest adopter of mobile money transfer systems, comprising nearly half of the globe’s registered mobile money customers, approximately 70 percent of global mobile money transactions, and two-thirds of the transaction volume by value”.

It is by harnessing all our capabilities, both existing and emerging, that we will accelerate Africa’s economic growth and integrated development.

It is our expectation that this Intra-African Trade Fair will further cement its position as Africa’s premier trade platform, where African manufacturers can promote and sell more ‘Made in Africa’ goods to one another.

This is critical if we are to change the distorted trade relationship that exists between African countries and the rest of the world.

We can no longer have a situation where Africa exports raw materials and imports finished goods made with those materials.

We can longer have a situation where the resources of Africa provide employment and add value in other economies, while so many of our people live in poverty and conditions of under-development.

By promoting trade between African countries we are strengthening the continent’s industrial base and ensuring that we produce goods for ourselves and each other.

Two key developments of global significance can serve as a stimulus for Africa to act in unison.

Firstly, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the first quarter of 2020 exposed the frailty of African economies.

More importantly, it sent a powerful message to our continent about the dangers of over-reliance on external sources to meet its growing demand for food, medicines and other essential supplies.

It clearly demonstrated that Africa needs to produce its own food and medicines, to strengthen continental supply chains, and to invest in infrastructure and capacitate African institutions.

To illustrate the extent of the challenge, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa estimates that Africa imports about 94 per cent of its pharmaceutical and medicinal needs from outside the continent at an annual cost of $16 billion.

Secondly, the African Continental Free Trade Area has the potential to accelerate economic growth across the continent and create opportunities for entrepreneurs, small and medium enterprises as well as large corporations to flourish.

The AfCFTA will provide new export opportunities for ‘Made in Africa’ products and enable member countries to trade with each other without tariffs or other hindrances.

All of this will help the continent to absorb the 10 to 12 million African youth looking to enter the job market annually.

The AfCFTA should therefore be underpinned by strong and ambitious rules of origin, requiring a very high level of value-add here on our continent.

We need, as Africans, to resist the temptation to simply become transhipment centres, adding only limited industrial value in Africa.

The AfCFTA will unlock more value and give effect to the dream of African development if it promotes complementary trade between countries.

It is about using the combination of the continent’s raw materials and industrial capacity, finance, services and infrastructure to produce quality finished goods to local and global markets.

It is about creating a market large enough to attract investors from across the world to set up their production facilities on the continent.

We need to leverage platforms such as the Intra-African Trade Fair to mobilise all African governments, together with our social partners, to work tirelessly to address youth unemployment.

Half of Africa’s population are women, and they are the dominant actors in the informal sectors of Africa’s economic landscape.

Despite this, women only generate around a third of the continent’s combined GDP.

It is important that the Intra-African Trade Fair gives special attention to African women in business, recognising their great potential as drivers of economic change across the continent.

Trade is built on a bedrock of investment.

We must therefore find ways of attracting more investment into our economies, and, crucially, we must encourage African businesses to invest in each other’s countries.

This requires that we improve the ease of doing business in our countries and provide protection for investors through strong and independent legal systems that will ensure the sanctity of contract and fair and expeditious legal processes.

It means also that investors must be sensitive to our continent’s development goals: jobs, industrialisation and development of local entrepreneurs.

The conditions of Africa’s workers must improve as part of our development goals and the decent work agenda that all of us have committed to must find expression in our trade, investment and industrial frameworks.

On the 24th of May 1963, independent Ghana’s first President Kwame Nkrumah delivered his famous ‘We must unite now or perish’ speech in Addis Ababa.

His words are as true today as they were when the Organisation of African Unity was formed.

President Nkrumah said:

“With our united resources, energies and talents, we have the means, as soon as we have shown the will, to transform the economic structures of our individual states from poverty to that of wealth, from inequality to the satisfaction of popular needs. Only on a continental basis shall we be able to plan the proper utilisation of all our resources for the full development of our continent.”

Now is the hour of action.

As countries let us work with speed to resolve any outstanding issues around the AfCFTA; let those countries who have not already ratified it do so; and let us take the necessary steps towards domestication.

We are greatly encouraged by the sentiment expressed by the African Development Bank a few weeks ago that the implementation of the AfCFTA will be a key component of the bank’s lending programme and that working with the AfCFTA Secretariat the bank hopes to amass a number of AfCFTA aligned investments.

South Africa stands ready to work closely with all African countries to forge more balanced, equitable and fair trade relations among African nations.

On the 24th of March 2022 South Africa will host its fourth South Africa Investment Conference in Johannesburg, and we look forward to seeing some of the engagements that start here at the IATF come to fruition at that conference.

With these words I welcome you all to South Africa and encourage you to enjoy the warm hospitality of the City of Durban and the KwaZulu-Natal Province.

I wish you all productive days ahead as we work to transform our continent and forge a better future for its people.

I thank you.

IATF2021- 15 to 21 NOVEMBER  2021  

14 November 2021

Hosted by the South African government in conjunction with African Export-ImpoIATF2021 takes place from 15 to 21 November rt Bank (Afreximbank), IATF2021 takes place from 15 to 21 November with the theme focussing on the newly-launched African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The free trade area is an African Union initiative that creates a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments.

#IATF2021
#BelieveInSA

WORLD DIABETES DAY

14 November 2021

World Diabetes Day is the primary global awareness campaign focusing on diabetes mellitus and is held on 14 November each year. 

Theme of 2021:- Access to Diabetes Care is the theme for World Diabetes Day 2021-23, highlighting that people with diabetes require ongoing care & support their condition & avoid complications.

Led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), each World Diabetes Day focuses on a theme related to diabetes;

Type-2 diabetes is largely preventable and treatable non-communicable disease that is rapidly increasing in numbers worldwide.

Type 1 diabetes is not preventable but can be managed with insulin injections.Topics covered have included diabetes and human rights, diabetes and lifestyle, diabetes and obesity, diabetes in the disadvantaged and the vulnerable, and diabetes in children and adolescents.

#WorldDiabetesDay

Minister, Dr. Naledi Pandor, has arrived in the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria   

                       13 November 2021

     Minister, Dr. Naledi Pandor, has arrived in the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria where she will meet with her counterpart, Mr Ramtane Lamamra, Minister of Foreign Affairs. The visit is aimed at deepening and strengthening the already existing good political relations between the two countries

Minister Pandor earlier, met with the Minister of Culture and Arts of Algeria, Ms Wafa Chaâlal where there briefly discussed cooperation and Cultural Diplomacy between South Africa and Algeria.

Source: DIRCO

#DIRCO

#CulturalDiplomacy

#SAAlgeriaRelations

#BetterAfricaBetterWorld

Minister Pandor visits the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria and the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic

12 November 2021

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, will visit the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria and the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic from 13 to 14 November 2021.

The visits are aimed at deepening and strengthening the already existing good political relations dating back from the years of the struggle against colonialism and apartheid.

In the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, Minister Pandor will discuss matters of mutual bilateral, regional and multilateral interest with her Algerian counterpart, H.E. Mr Ramtane Lamamra, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the National Community Abroad.

It is envisaged that the two ministers will review the implementation of the decision of the Binational Commission between the two countries and exchange views on the regional and international issues of mutual interest.

The relations between South Africa and Algeria culminated in the formation of a structured framework of cooperation in the form of a Ministerial Joint Bi-National Commission of Co-operation (JBC) in 1998. The JBC was later upgraded to a Bi-National Commission at the Presidential level in 2000, signifying the strategic quality of the bilateral relations between the two countries.

In the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, Minister Pandor is expected to hold bilateral discussions with Foreign Affairs Minister, H.E. Mr Mohamed Salem Ould Salek, and will reaffirm South Africa’s continued support for the inalienable rights of the people of Western Sahara to self-determination, as well as exchange views on strengthening relations between the two countries on issues of mutual interest.

At the invitation of her Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic counterpart, Minister Pandor will also use the opportunity to visit Saharawi refugee camps and historical sites.

South Africa has maintained a principled position before the United Nations, the African Union and other international forums on the right to self-determination for the Saharawi people as enshrined in the United Nations Charter.

TURKISH AMBASSADOR H.E. MS AYŞEGÜI KANDAŞ PLANT TREES IN JOHANNESBURG, MARKING 700TH ANNIVERSARY OF YUNUS EMRE

On 11 November Turkish Ambassador, Her Excellency Ms Ayşegül Kandaş together with the representatives of the diplomatic corps, civil society, the Olivenhoutbosch community, the management and learners of Shesegon Secondary School in Olivenhoutbosch, Johannesburg planted trees at the ‘Yunus Emre Friendly and Memorial Forest’ in a public park area of Shesegon Secondary School in Olivenhoutbosch.

UNESCO designated 2021 as the year of Yunus Emre in reference to the 700th anniversary of Yunus Emre’s demise. The Turkish Ambassador,  diplomats,   Johannesburg Yunus Emre, civil society and learners dedicated the tree-planting day event to the 700th anniversary and ‘Yunus Emre Friendly and Memorial Forest’ was planted in a public park area of Shesegon Secondary School in Olivenhoutbosch.

Princess Zamaswazi Dlamini-Mandela the granddaughter of Nelson and Winnie Mandela,  the daughter of Prince Thumbuzani of Swaziland and Princess Zenani Mandela and Ambassador Kanat Tumysh of Kazakhstan to South Africa also joined the Tree Planting Day Program

In her remarks Turkish Ambassador Her Excellency Ms Ayşegül Kandaş said ” November 11 was declared as the National   “Afforestation Day” through a Presidential Decree. The aim was to see the state and citizens planting trees all over Turkey every year on November 11 at 11.11, with the target of planting a total of 7 billion saplings by end 2023. Thus planting 3 saplings for each citizen.

Ambassador said “until the end of this year the aim is to plant 21 million  815 thousand trees in Mugla”, one of the cities that lost many hectares of forest land due to the horrible fires of the past summer in Turkey.

Ambassador Ayşegül Kandaş encouraged the learners to take good care of trees, forests and the beautiful land and to plant at least 1 tree during the course of their lives as well as encouraged the learners to visit Turkey and see the forest.

In closing Ambassador Ayşegül Kandaş ended with a quote from a famous Turkish Poet Nazim Hikmet:
To live! Like a tree alone and free
Like a forest in brotherhood
THIS YEARNING IS OURS!!!!!

The ‘Yunus Emre Friendly and Memorial Forest’  forms a comfortable oasis of calm for peace, safety, tranquility and happiness in the public park of the Shesegon Secondary School, corresponding to the growth of environmental awareness and the objectives of the UN Sustainable Development Goals,”

By: The Diplomatic Informer Magazine SA