COP28 will emphasize a “leave no one behind’’ approach to climate action.

Photo: His Excellency Mr. Mahash Saeed Al Hameli, UAE Ambassador to South Africa, handing over the official COP28 invitation letter from the President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa of the Republic of South Africa

11 May 2024

Susan Novela

The Diplomatic Informer Magazine SA

His Excellency Mr. Mahash Saeed Al Hameli, UAE Ambassador to South Africa, met with His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa of the Republic of South Africa and handed him a written message from the

President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan regarding bilateral relations and extended an official invitation for him to participate in the Conference of the Parties to the Convention United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), to be held in the Dubai Expo City in November 2023.

These meetings are a pivotal part of engagement with the leaders of countries and leaders of climate action to ensure that the preparation process for the next session of the COP28 Conference is comprehensive

and sufficiently consultative on common priorities, in light of the preparation for the Conference of the Parties (COP28).

This is also in line with the commitment of the United Arab Emirates to a fruitful partnership with the United Nations during the Conference of the Parties (COP28). Ambassador Al Hameli said that the United Arab Emirates believes in the urgent need for a coordinated response at the multilateral system level, as we must not neglect any aspect of the climate crisis, including its clear impact on international peace and security.

His Excellency Ambassador Al Hameli also announced that the United Arab Emirates will host the twenty-eighth session of the Conference of the

Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) in Dubai, Expo City, during the period from November 30 to December 12, and that the COP28 conference will be an important station in climate action. This is the first comprehensive assessment of the nationally determined contributions of the signatory parties to the Paris Agreement, and the progress made in implementing the goals of the agreement, including the goal of preventing global warming exceeding 1.5

degrees Celsius. This is especially important because the Conference of the Parties (COP28) coincides with the preparations to celebrate the golden jubilee of the United Arab Emirates. He affirmed the UAE’s continued commitment to the efforts of the international community aimed at intensifying cooperation with the aim of reducing the repercussions of climate change and the challenges it brings. This includes supporting

communities most vulnerable to the impact of climate change. “COP28 will emphasize a “leave no one behind’’ approach to climate action: that’s why we’re here. This is what we work for. We can do it together; I am very sure” Ambassador Mahash Al Hameli intimated.





Also published in the Pretoria News on 5 May 2023

Opening of Africa’s Travel Indaba 2023

Photo: Minister of Tourism, Patricia De Lille at Opening of Africa’s Travel Indaba 2023

Photo credit: Department of Tourism

Photo: Honourable Patricia De Lille and Eswatini’s Minister of Tourism & Environmental Affairs, MP Moses Vilakati at the Eswatini Stand at Africa’s Travel Indaba 2023!

Photo: Minister Patricia de Lille visited the Zambia exhibition and met with Minister Rodney Sikumba of Zambia

Photo: Minister Patricia de Lille met with the Minister of Tourism of Botswana, Ms Philda Nani Kereng, and discussed bi-lateral matters.

Photo: On the sidelines of the Minister Patricia De Lille, met with the Minister of Culture & Tourism of Mozambique, Edelvina Materula, and discussed bilateral matters.

Photo: Minister Patricia de Lille received a warm welcome from her counterpart, Minister Vera Kamtukule, at the Malawian exhibition stand

Photo: Minister Patricia de Lille visited the Zimbabwean exhibition and met with Minister Nqobizitha Mangaliso

9 May 2023

Speech by Minister of Tourism, Patricia De Lille at Opening of Africa’s Travel Indaba 2023

It is an honour and privilege for me to be here at the 2023 Africa’s Travel Indaba in this picturesque city of Durban, renowned for its sunshine, surfing, and swimming and of course cultural melting points amongst many attractions.

We are gathered here at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre, named after Africa’s first Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, to celebrate Africa as we all pull our efforts towards our sector’s recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic.

In one of his famous quotes, Inkosi Luthuli expressed his strong connection to mother Africa; he said: “I am an African. I am bound to Africa by the ties of blood, race, history, culture and language.” END QUOTE

During the month of May, we celebrate Africa Month and I would like to remind us of the inspirational words of the African Union Anthem which says:

“O Sons and Daughters of Africa, Flesh of the Sun and Flesh of the Sky Let us make Africa the Tree of Life, Let us all unite and sing together to uphold the bonds that frame our destiny. Let us dedicate ourselves to fight together for lasting peace and justice on earth.” END QUOTE

Today are here to honour the African people’s incredible ingenuity, fortitude, and magnificence.

We do so with humility as we also welcome delegates from across the world.

We are part of a common humanity and we are here bound together by a desire for shared prosperity.

As Africans, together, we will craft a narrative that tells our story in our own words, sharing with the world the unique contributions we bring to the global tourism community.

I am looking forward to coming together with as many of you as possible and for us to learn from each other, challenging stereotypes and promoting a more tolerant and inclusive society.

A repositioned Africa’s Travel Indaba

Ladies and gentlemen, a lot has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we felt it necessary and critical to reposition Africa’s Travel Indaba to ensure it remains relevant in the current environment.

This year, we are hosting Indaba under the mantra “Shaping Africa’s Tomorrow, Through Connection Today.”

This positioning speaks to the essence of Africa’s Travel Indaba, bringing the world to Africa to positively influence the continent’s economic and cultural trajectories.

One of Africa’s best exports, Ben Okri, the Nigerian author and poet, is on point when he writes: “The most authentic thing about us, as Africans, is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love, and to be greater than our suffering.”

The 2023 Africa’s Travel Indaba, at near the pre-pandemic scale, also demonstrates that we can host world-class safe events as Africans.

This year, at Africa Travel Indaba, we are working hard to exceed pre-COVID attendance numbers and have an estimated 6 000 people attending from all over South Africa, Africa and the rest of the world.

This year’s Indaba sees more than 350 tourism products being showcased, 1000 buyers from across the tourism ecosystem and just under 1 000 exhibitors.

The attendees include destination marketing bodies, hotel groups, airlines, tour operators, and 10 African Tourism Boards and 21 African countries represented here.

Competition and collaboration

Ladies and gentlemen, competition is often considered the lifeblood of destination marketing and tourism.

However, it is important to note that competition should always be balanced with collaboration.

While healthy competition can drive growth and innovation, unhealthy competition can lead to a race to the bottom, with businesses and destinations undercutting each other on price and quality.

Therefore, as the tourism industry, let us foster a culture of healthy competition, where businesses and destinations are encouraged to compete on quality and innovation.

Let us remember that long-term success in the industry depends not only on competing but also on recognising the value of collaboration and partnerships.

And so, each player in the value chain has a unique role to play, and by working together, we can create seamless and memorable travel experiences for visitors – that is the spirit of Africa’s Travel Indaba.

Supporting Tourism Enterprises

The Department of Tourism keenly understands the value of tourism businesses especially small to medium enterprises and that is why I am proud of the investment we have made in this regard as part of our Market Access Support Programme.

The Department of Tourism is thus supporting 123 local small inbound tourism enterprises through its Market Access Support Programme (MASP) to showcase their products and services at the Hidden Gems pavilion during Africa’s Travel Indaba.

The total value of support approved for the 123 enterprises amounts to R11.7million and this investment will enable these small businesses to display their unique products and services, expand their networks, and foster partnerships that will drive the growth and sustainability of the tourism industry in South Africa.

To all the buyers present here today – you are critical in promoting Africa as a premier travel destination and thank you for continuing to partner with us in showcasing our continent’s diverse experiences and attractions.

To all the African product owners, thank you for your contribution in creating a cohesive and thriving tourism sector that benefits communities and promotes faster economic growth.

I am a firm believer that our country’s and continent’s tourism sector can only grow if we work together.

So whether you are an accommodation establishment owner, an airline partner, a travel agency, a tour operator or any other tourism product and experience – this is a call to you.

I invite all South African tourism companies to be part of this year’s Sho’t Left Travel week by providing discounted travel deals to South Africans.

By offering discounts of up to 50% off during the week starting from the 4th to the 10th of September, we will be encouraging South Africans to travel our beautiful, vibrant and diverse country.

South African Tourism will promote all Sho’t Left Travel Week deals on various marketing platforms, so make sure you don’t miss out on this chance to market your products or services.

Please register on is external) by no later than end of August 2023.

Africa’s Tourism Sector Performance

Africa’s tourism sector is open and thriving, offering various products and experiences catering to travellers’ needs and preferences.

For South Africa, we have seen encouraging growth in our tourist arrival numbers between January and December 2022 where it reached nearly 5.8million with over 4 million of those arrivals from African countries.

This represents an overall inbound increase of 152.6% for South Africa compared to January to December 2021.

The future looks bright. We have, as a collective, weathered the COVID-19 hurricane and it should only propel us to exceed our targets.

After stronger than expected recovery in 2022, this year could see international tourist arrivals to South Africa return to pre-pandemic levels in Europe and the Middle East.

These numbers demonstrate the immense potential of tourism in Africa, not only as a revenue generator but also as a job creator and a catalyst for faster economic growth.

Here at Africa’s Travel Indaba, the African tourism sector works together to create sustained growth and economic impact; there’s no Big Brother here.

Africa’s Travel Indaba provides the ideal platform for us to collectively showcase our African products and experiences.

It is the most valuable platform for all of us to meet face-to-face, do business with the most influential partners in the world and access Africa’s excellence and endless possibilities.

The business opportunities and quality connections gained at this trade show will certainly shape Africa’s tomorrow.

Challenges to overcome

In addition to collaboration across the value chain, there are other areas where we need to work together to unlock the full potential of the African tourism sector.

One of these is the visa regime in all African countries.

We must have a harmonised visa regime across the continent to make it easier for visitors to move from one country to another.

We must also simplify the e-visa application process and reduce visa costs to make Africa a more attractive destination for both Africans and international travellers.

In this regard, South Africa has visa waivers for several African countries for a specified period and up to a maximum of 90 days, including SADC countries such as Tanzania, Namibia. Angola, Mozambique. Mauritius, Malawi and Botswana.

We have also rolled out the e-visa system to several countries including Kenya, Nigeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Uganda, Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo and we are expanding the e-visa system to an additional 20 countries.

Another critical area is airlift capacity.

On the global stage, Africa is the strongest performer currently with international air connectivity in Africa.

However, this growth has been uneven, with some African regions and countries having better airlift connectivity than others.

I am looking forward to working with various partners in reducing the high cost of air travel in Africa as we know that this deters visitors and thereby limit tourism growth.

Despite some challenges, there are some positive developments in the African aviation sector.

For example, some African airlines are expanding their fleets and increasing their routes to meet the growing demand for air travel.

The African Union (AU) has also launched the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), which aims to liberalise air transport on the continent and promote greater competition and connectivity.

Sustainable Tourism

Ladies and gentlemen, we must prioritise sustainable tourism practices that addresses climate change, protects our environment and cultural heritage while promoting economic development.

One of the key projects the Department of Tourism in South Africa has to help businesses mitigate climate change and adapt to energy constraints is the Green Tourism Incentive Programme (GTIP).

The programme encourages and incentivizes private sector tourism enterprises to move towards the installation of solutions for the sustainable management and usage of electricity and water resources through installation of solar system and water saving technologies.

The GTIP also ensures an uninterrupted visitor experience for tourists, reduce operational input cost and facilitates increased competitiveness and operational sustainability in the tourism sector.

Apart from providing funding to 130 tourism businesses under this programme, the Department of Tourism also invested R98.5 million to retrofit 8 state owned tourist attractions.

Combined savings for all eight sites is estimated to be just under R40 million by the end of the 2022/23 financial year.

Ladies and gentlemen, sustainability is big for our sector. We must invest in sustainable tourism to protect communities’ natural resources, cultural heritage, and social fabric while creating economic opportunities.

Again, collaboration and partnerships between African countries and the public and private sectors will be critical in achieving this objective.

We must also prioritise innovation and technology, which can help us develop and promote our tourism offerings more effectively and efficiently.

Finally, we must ensure that our efforts to promote the African tourism sector are inclusive and benefit all members of our society.

We must work to ensure that the benefits of tourism are distributed equitably and that all members of our communities can access the opportunities created by the sector.

At the very least, that is what the future generation of African children expect and deserve.

Ladies and gentlemen, through concrete actions, not just words, we are here as Africans, at Africa’s Travel Indaba to work to reposition ourselves in the minds of international travellers.

Our top-notch hospitality, favourable weather, and unique wildlife are just a few examples of what makes Africa an attractive tourism destination.

We are also here to recognise the value of visitors travelling to different parts of Africa and the world.

We know that through tourism, we can help create cultural exchanges, promote understanding, and break down stereotypes.

This can help to build bridges between different communities and contribute to the peaceful coexistence of different cultures and religions.

On a domestic front, South Africa must keep our country’s domestic sectors going.

Countries with a strong domestic tourism sector are generally better equipped to withstand fluctuations in international demand as has been witnessed with the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.

For us in South Africa, growing our country’s tourism sector is a key aspect of the country’s Tourism Sector Recovery Plan and aims to ignite economic growth and create jobs.

I would like to thank all the South Africans that continue to heed the call by taking a Sho’t Left and exploring their own country.

Thank you fellow South Africans for playing your part in our country’s tourism sector recovery and ultimately contributing towards an inclusive economy.

In conclusion

I am proud to welcome all international delegates to South Africa. I invite you to experience, the beauty of our landscapes, and the richness of our cultural heritage.

I know this year’s Africa’s Travel Indaba will serve as a platform for building new relationships, sharing knowledge, and driving the growth and success of the African tourism sector.

It is possible. Let’s do it together.

I thank you and God Bless.

Issued by: Department of Tourism

Europe Day 9 May

9 May 2023

The Diplomatic Informer Magazine wishes EU peace and unity.

Europe Day is held on 9 May every year to celebrate peace and unity in Europe. The date marks the anniversary of the historic Schuman declaration, which started Europe on the path to today’s European Union. At a speech in Paris in 1950, Robert Schuman, the then French foreign minister, set out his idea for a new form of political cooperation in Europe, which would make war between Europe’s nations unthinkable.

His vision was to create a European institution that would pool and manage coal and steel production. A treaty creating such a body was signed just under a year later. Schuman’s proposal is considered to be the beginning of what is now the European Union.

United in diversity, “the motto of the European Union, first came into use in 2000. It signifies how Europeans have come together, in the form of the EU, to work for peace and prosperity, while at the same time being enriched by the continent’s many different cultures, traditions and languages.

To celebrate Europe Day, the EU institutions traditionally open their doors to the public in early May. Local EU offices in Europe and all over the world organise a variety of activities and events for all ages.

Each year, thousands of people take part in visits, debates, concerts, and other activities to mark the day and raise awareness about the EU.

The British Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the Coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla 👑

Photo: The British Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the Coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla 👑

6 May 2023

Their Majesties, King Charles III and Queen Camilla after the Service, Their Majesties returned to Buckingham Palace in a larger ceremonial procession, known as ‘The Coronation Procession’. Their Majesties were joined in the procession by other Members of the Royal Family.

Upon returning, The King and The Queen received a Royal Salute in the Garden of Buckingham Palace from the Armed Forces, taking part in the Processions.

The King and The Queen, accompanied by Members of the Royal Family, then appeared on the Buckingham Palace Balcony for the Flypast and the conclusion of the day’s ceremonial events






The Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla was a splendid celebration

Photo: The Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla 

Photo Credit: The Royal Family UK 🇬🇧


Photo: The Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla
Photo Credit: The Royal Family UK 🇬🇧

Photo: The Coronation of King Queen Camilla 

Photo Credit: The Royal Family UK 🇬🇧

Photo: King Charles III
Photo Credit: The Royal Family UK 🇬🇧

6 May 2024

On this historic day, the Diplomatic Informer Magazine SA wishes to extend our heartfelt warm wishes to their Majesties, King Charles III and Queen Camilla and the people of the United Kingdom on their #Coronation

The Coronation of Their Majesties The King and The Queen took place today, Saturday, 6th May 2023, at Westminster Abbey on in the first Coronation Service in almost 70 years. Their Majesties arrived at Westminster Abbey in procession from Buckingham Palace, known as ‘The King’s Procession’.

After the Service, Their Majesties returned to Buckingham Palace in a larger ceremonial procession, known as ‘The Coronation Procession’. Their Majesties were joined in the procession by other Members of the Royal Family.

Upon returning, The King and The Queen received a Royal Salute in the Garden of Buckingham Palace from the Armed Forces, taking part in the Processions.

The King and The Queen, accompanied by Members of the Royal Family, then appeared on the Buckingham Palace Balcony for the Flypast and the conclusion of the day’s ceremonial events

For the last nine centuries, the coronation ceremony has taken place at Westminster Abbey as the Royal church for the Palace of Westminster

For almost a thousand years, Coronations have been held at Westminster Abbey, and the Order of Service draws on this long tradition, centred around the liturgical theme of “Called to Serve” and The King’s solemn vow and commitment to serve God, and the people of the nations and the realms.

The Service was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby. The Choirs of Westminster Abbey and His Majesty’s Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace, with choristers from Methodist College, Belfast, and Truro Cathedral Choir, and an octet from the Monteverdi Choir, sang. The music during the service was directed by Andrew Nethsingha, Organist and Master of the Choristers, Westminster Abbey.


Africa’s Travel Indaba

5 May 2023

Africa’s Travel Indaba (ATI) will take place at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC) in the Kwa-Zulu Natal Province from 08 to 11 May 2023. The trade show showcases the widest variety of Southern Africa’s best tourism products and services, and afford delegates an opportunity to acquaint themselves with the exciting travel experiences on offer – with a view of forging dynamic tourism partnerships.

The ATI is one of the largest tourism marketing events on the African calendar and one of the top three ‘must visit’ events of its kind on the global calendar. It has won the accolades as Africa’s best travel and tourism show awarded by the Association of World Travel Awards.


Africa’s Travel Indaba offers industry players and its stakeholders an opportunity to meet and engage on the challenges and opportunities that affect the advancement of tourism on the continent. The Department of Tourism will host the following events prior and during Africa’s Travel Indaba 2023:

Tourism Dialogue – The Tourism Dialogue provides a platform for African Tourism Ministers, policy makers, stakeholders and experts from the tourism sector to share ideas and to discuss issues impacting tourism on the African continent. The Dialogue will also discuss the opportunities of BRICS for South Africa and the African continent.

African Development Bank welcomes Banga’s confirmation as World Bank chief

Photo; Ajay Banga, President of the World Bank Group and Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, African Development Bank Group President
Photo credit: African Development Bank


Photo credit: African Development Bank

4 May 2023

African Development Bank Group president Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has congratulated former MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga for his election as head of the World Bank Group, saying he looks forward to working together with him to tackle current global challenges, including climate change.

Banga, 63, was confirmed by the World Bank’s board of governors on Wednesday to serve a five-year term as the 14th president, from 2 June. He succeeds David Malpass, who announced his resignation last February.

Adesina said: “Congratulations, my dear friend Ajay Banga, on your confirmation as president of the World Bank Group – I look forward to our working closely together to deliver greater impacts for Africa and the world.”

Banga’s election comes at a critical moment of overlapping global challenges marked by emerging debt distress in lower- and middle-income countries, particularly in Africa, which is heavily impacted by climate change, Covid-19 pandemic and disruptions in food and energy markets due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Following his nomination for the World Bank job, Banga undertook a global tour in March. He first stopped at the African Development Bank Group’s headquarters in Abidjan, where he met Adesina and advocated for a strong partnership with the continent’s premier development institution.

During that meeting, Banga and Adesina agreed to work together to deliver transformative results for Africa. They also highlighted the role of the private sector in mobilizing much-needed capital resources for significant economic development.

Banga highlighted three global issues that he said were of significant concern to him; inequality; tension between humanity and nature; and the tendency to apply short-term solutions to long-term problems, which only delivers poor results.

He recognized that the world’s challenges got complicated because of the Covid-19 pandemic, environmental degradation, and the impact of the Russia-Ukraine War.

Source: African Development Bank in March.

Europe’s advanced new weather satellite will support Early Warnings for All

Photo credit: WMO

4 May 2023

WMO has welcomed the release of the first image from Europe’s newest weather satellite, which reveals conditions over Europe, Africa and the Atlantic with an extraordinary level of detail.

Europe’s meteorological satellite agency, EUMETSAT, and the European Space Agency (ESA) on 4 May jointly released the image from the first satellite in the new generation of European weather satellites, Meteosat Third Generation – Imager 1 (MTG-I1). MTG-I1 was launched on 13 December 2022.

The instruments on the third generation of Meteosat meteorological satellites produce imagery of much higher resolution more frequently than is possible from those on the second-generation spacecraft.

“WMO is looking forward to the benefits that this exciting new instrument will provide when the data becomes operationally available to the members. This will make an important contribution to the Early Warnings For All Initiative (EW4All), in particular on the African continent,” said Natalia Donoho, head, WMO Space Systems and Utilization Division.

The image, captured by the satellite’s imager at 11:50 UTC on 18 March 2023, shows much of Northern and Western Europe and Scandinavia cloaked in clouds, with relatively clear skies over Italy and the Western Balkans.

Details it contains, such as cloud vortices over the Canary Islands, snow cover on the Alps and sediment in the water along the coast of Italy, are not as clearly visible, or not visible at all, in imagery from the instruments on the current Meteosat Second Generation satellites.

Crucially for Nordic countries, the image reveals a greater level of detail of cloud structures at high latitudes. This will enable weather forecasters to more accurately monitor the evolution of rapidly developing severe weather in that region.

“This remarkable image gives us great confidence in our expectation that the MTG system will herald a new era in the forecasting of severe weather events,” EUMETSAT Director-General Phil Evans said.

“It might sound odd to be so excited about a cloudy day in most of Europe. But the level of detail seen for the clouds in this image is extraordinarily important to weather forecasters. That additional detail from the higher resolution imagery, coupled with the fact that images will be produced more frequently, means forecasters will be able to more accurately and rapidly detect and predict severe weather events.”

The high-resolution and frequent repeat cycle of the Flexible Combined Imager will greatly help the WMO community to improve forecasts of severe weather as well as long-term climate monitoring, marine applications, and agricultural meteorology. It will provide new information on temporal changes of cloud macro- and microphysics, which are important to capture the fast hydrological processes related to clouds and precipitation formation,” said Ms Donoho.

The well-calibrated and -characterized FCI instrument also provides opportunities for ocean monitoring. With its better spatial resolution and more channels in the solar spectrum FCI can deliver improved ocean observations, and the high temporal repeat cycle of the geostationary satellite improves the probability of detecting clear areas and it resolves fast ocean processes such as tidal variability of suspended matter and plankton.

In the area of agricultural monitoring, traditionally polar-orbiting satellite data are used, but FCI can support evapotranspiration and water stress modeling as well as vegetation stress monitoring. As signatures of vegetation stress are manifested in the land surface temperature signal, which can be established by the thermal infrared (TIR) window data, a TIR-based drought index can provide an effective early warning of impending agricultural drought in particular on the African continent.

Director of Earth Observation at the European Space Agency (ESA), Simonetta Cheli, said seeing MTG-I1’s first image was a moment of great pride for the organisation and all those who have contributed to the Meteosat Third Generation programme.

“This image is a great example of what European cooperation in space can achieve,” Cheli said. “The level of detail MTG-I1’s image reveals, unachievable over Europe and Africa from a geostationary orbit until now, will give us a greater understanding of our planet and the weather systems that shape it.

“This image represents not just what can be achieved through European expertise but our determination to ensure the benefits of new technology are felt by communities in Europe and beyond.”

Thales Alenia Space, MTG prime contractor, built the imaging instrument, the Flexible Combined Imager, and integrated the MTG-I1 satellite.

The satellite is currently undergoing a 12-month commissioning phase, in which its instruments are switched on and the data they produce are calibrated. The data from MTG-I1 will be disseminated to meteorological services in Europe and beyond at the end of 2023, for operational use in weather forecasts.

The ground segment infrastructure required to routinely process images was used to produce the first image, as a preview of things to come at the end of the year. Images of the full Earth disc will be produced every 10 minutes when the system is operational.

MTG-I1 is operated by EUMETSAT from its headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany. The satellite was procured by ESA, fulfilling the requirements established by EUMETSAT in consultation with the meteorological services in its member states.

South African Reserve Bank Introduces News Banknotes and Coins

Photo: South African Reserve Bank Introduces New coins

Photo: South African Reserve Bank Introduces New Banknotes

Photo: SA Reserve Bank

4 May 2023

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) on Thursday (4 May 2023, introduced upgraded banknotes and coins into the South African market.

The SARB said the denominations will be introduced incrementally.

“The upgraded banknotes and coin have enhanced security features and new designs; however, the broad themes for the upgraded banknotes remain the same as the current banknotes, while the theme for the coin is deep ecology,” said the SARB.

The banknotes continue to pay tribute to South Africa’s first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela, with his portrait retained on the front of the banknotes while the Big 5 animals are now illustrated as a family on the back.

“We also celebrate our constitutional democracy with the preamble to the South African Constitution printed in microtext around Madiba’s portrait and the country’s flag featured on the front and the back of the banknotes,” said the SARB.

“The theme of the coin series is deep ecology, which acknowledges the interconnectedness of living organisms as an integral part of the environment.

As Their Majesties’ Coronation draws closer, read on for 100 fun facts about The King, The Queen Consort and the history of Coronations

Photo: Their Majesties’ The King and The Queen Consort

Photo: UK Gov

3 May 2023

On Saturday, King Charles III will become the fortieth Sovereign to be crowned at Westminster Abbey, with The Queen Consort being crowned beside him.

Westminster Abbey has been the setting for every Coronation since 1066, with William the Conqueror being the first monarch to be crowned there.

The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was the first to be televised and for most people, it was the first time they had watched an event on television. Their Majesties’ Coronation will be the first to be live-streamed via social media.

100 fun facts about The King, The Queen Consort, and previous Coronations.

His Majesty The King

Prince Charles Philip Arthur George was born at Buckingham Palace on 14th November 1948 at 9.14pm, weighing 7lbs 6oz. The Prince was christened on 15th December 1948 at Buckingham Palace.

The former Prince Charles became heir apparent (next in line to the throne) at the age of three years old in 1952, and went onto become the longest serving Prince of Wales in 2017. His Majesty was the first heir to see his mother crowned as Sovereign.

The King has three siblings, two sons, two step-children, five grandchildren, and five step-grandchildren.

The first formal photograph of The King was taken by Cecil Beaton in December 1948.

His Majesty’s first visit abroad was to Malta, when he was five years old. Since 1969, he has visited 48 Commonwealth countries, many of them on several occasions.

The King was the first heir to the throne to earn a university degree. The King studied archaeology and anthropology in his first year at the University of Cambridge, switching to history for the remainder of his degree. His Majesty also spent a term at the University College of Wales at Aberystwyth (April to June 1969) learning Welsh.

While at schoolthe kingng played the piano, trumpet and cello. He continued to play the cello while an undergraduate at Cambridge, performing in a symphony concert by the Trinity College Orchestra on 4th December 1967.

His Majesty obtained his RAF wings as Flight Lieutenant Wales in August 1971.

The King commanded HMS Bronington in 1976, while serving in the Royal Navy.

His Majesty started charity The Prince’s Trust with his Navy severance pay of just over £7000 in 1976. The charity has now supported over one million young people.

His Majesty was the first member of The Royal Family to successfully complete the Parachute Regiment’s training course, before he was appointed Colonel-in-Chief of the Regiment in 1977.

The King, as Prince of Wales, was given the title, ‘Keeper of the Cows’, by the Masai in Tanzania in 2011 to recognise his work as a farmer.

In the Pacific Island of Vanuatu, His Majesty was given the title Mal Menaringmanu (High Chief) in 2018.

The King also had a frog named after him: Hyloscirtus Princecherlesi or Prince Charles Magnificent Tree Frog.

As Prince of Wales, His Majesty became President or Patron of over 800 charities and initiatives in total.

A champion of environmental issues for over 50 years, The King first spoke publicly about his concerns on pollution and plastics and their impact on the natural world in 1970.

At the age of 16 years, The King undertook his first official Royal duty in June 1965, attending a student garden party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

His Majesty is an author. He wrote The Old Man of Lochnagar, based on stories he told his younger brothers growing up. The King has also written books on the natural world and the environment including ‘Harmony’; and ‘Climate Change, a Ladybird Expert Book’.

The King is a keen painter and had a watercolour displayed in the Royal Academy’s 1987 summer exhibition, after it was submitted anonymously.

In 1975, His Majesty became a member of the Magic Circle, a society of stage magicians founded in London in 1905, after passing his audition with a magic trick.

In 1980, The King rode in the Ludlow steeplechase and finished second. His Majesty has been a keen equestrian throughout his life and played polo until 2005.

The King made a cameo appearance on Coronation Street in 2000, and on EastEnders in 2022 in celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee.

His Majesty has presented the weather forecast on the BBC. This took place during a visit to BBC Scotland’s studios in 2012.

The King purchased an Aston Martin DB6 Mark 2 Volante in November 1970, which has since been converted to run on E85 bioethanol made from by-products of the wine and cheese industries. The Prince and Princess of Wales left Buckingham Palace in His Majesty’s Aston Martin following their wedding in April 2011.

The King often carries out tree planting ceremonies during engagements. After planting each tree, His Majesty gives a branch a friendly shake to wish them well.

Her Majesty The Queen Consort

Camilla Rosemary Shand was born on 17 July 1947 at King’s College Hospital, London.

The Queen Consort’s parents are Major Bruce Middleton Hope Shand and the Hon Rosalind Maud Shand (nee Cubitt).

Her Majesty has personal links to military organisations connected to her father, Major Bruce Shand, who was awarded two military crosses. The Queen Consort has attended many occasions with veterans, serving soldiers and officers of the 9th/12th Lancers with whom her father served. Major Shand also fought with the Desert Rats in the Second World War before being captured during the Battle of El Alamein.

The Queen Consort has been involved with the Royal Osteoporosis Society since the 1990s, and it became her first patronage as Duchess of Cornwall, after her mother and grandmother both suffered with the condition.

Her Majesty is the eldest of the three Shand children. The Queen Consort has a sister, Annabel Elliot and a brother, Mark Shand, who sadly passed away in 2014.

In September 2014, The King and The Queen Consort, as Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, became Joint Presidents of Elephant Family. The charity was founded in 2002 by Her Majesty’s late brother, Mark Shand, who dedicated his life to saving the Asian Elephants.

The King and The Queen Consort married in a civil ceremony at the Guildhall in Windsor on 9th April 2005. This was followed by a Service of Prayer and Dedication at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

Following her marriage to The King, The Queen Consort has become Patron or President of over 100 charities.

The Queen Consort’s first solo official engagement was to Southampton General Hospital on 23rd May 2005.

Her Majesty travelled to the United States for her first official visit overseas in November 2005, meeting President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush at the White House.

The Queen Consort adopted two rescue Jack Russell terriers, Beth and Bluebell, as puppies from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. On a visit to Battersea Old Windsor in 2020, Jack Russell Beth assisted Her Majesty in unveiling a plaque (with a little help from some foodie treats!)

In 2013, The Queen Consort began a Wash Bag initiative, providing Sexual Assault Referral Centres (or SARCs) with wash bags, containing toiletries such as shampoo and body wash, which are given to those referred to the centres.

In July 2021, Her Majesty, when she was The Duchess of Cornwall, became Patron of Nigeria’s first sexual assault referral centre, Mirabel.

The Queen Consort keeps fit by taking Silver Swan ballet classes.

Her Majesty is a fan of the BBC programme, ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, and on two occasions has had the opportunity to dance with judge Craig Revel-Horwood and former judge Len Goodman.

A self-confessed bibliophile, Her Majesty has said that the book she returns to over and over again is ‘Pride and Prejudice’.

In 2021, while the UK was in lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic, Her Majesty launched The Reading Room – an Instagram platform to discover new books and the extraordinary people who create them. In February 2023, the initiative was relaunched as a charity, called ‘The Queen’s Reading Room’.

The Queen Consort enjoys playing Scrabble and Wordle.

In the build up to Her Majesty’s 75th birthday, The Queen Consort made her Vogue debut in June 2022.

Her Majesty does not have her ears pierced, instead choosing to wear clip-on earrings.

The Queen Consort is President of Ebony Horse Club, the organisation which taught Khadijah Mellah how to ride, leading her to become the first hijab-wearing jockey in a competitive British horse race and the winner of the Magnolia Cup.

Her Majesty’s engagement ring once belonged to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, The King’s grandmother.

The Queen Consort’s 75th birthday edition of Country Life was the best-selling of all time.

Her Majesty is a keen gardener and also produces her own honey at home in Wiltshire. This honey is sold at Fortnum & Mason to raise money for charity.

Last year, Buckingham Palace announced that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II had appointed The Duchess of Cornwall, as she was formerly known, to be a Lady of the Garter.

A History of Coronations

King Charles III will be crowned on 6th May 2023 in Westminster Abbey, with The Queen Consort being crowned beside him.

Since 1601, there has only been one Coronation in the month of May – so far…

Westminster Abbey has been the setting for every Coronation since 1066. Before the Abbey was built, Coronations were carried out wherever was convenient, taking place in Bath, Oxford and Canterbury.

His Majesty will be the fortieth Sovereign to be crowned at Westminster Abbey.

For the first time since 1937, the coronation of King Charles III will include the crowing of a Queen Consort. Queen Elizabeth, wife of King George VI, was the last Queen Consort to be crowned.

On Christmas Day 1066, William the Conqueror became the first monarch to be crowned at Westminster Abbey.

King Charles III succeeded to the Throne on 8th September 2022 upon the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning British monarch.

At four years old, the then Prince Charles received a special hand-painted children’s invitation to his mother’s Coronation.

The Earl Marshal is responsible for organising the Coronation. Since 1386, this position has been undertaken by The Duke of Norfolk.

The 18th Duke of Norfolk is responsible for The King’s Coronation this year and was also responsible for the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

Every coronation of a British monarch since King George III has taken place between May and September.

The earliest English coronation that is recorded in detail, although not the first, is the crowning of the Anglo-Saxon King Edgar in Bath in 953 CE.

The youngest ever monarch was Mary, Queen of Scots, who became Queen in 1542 when she was just six days old.

The contemporary form of the coronation dates from 1902, when King Edward VII was crowned. This consists of a state procession from Buckingham Palace to the Abbey, another procession inside, the Recognition, the Anointing, the Coronation Oath, the Homage and finally another procession from the Abbey back to the Palace.

For hundreds of years, the monarch stayed at the Tower of London two nights before the coronation. The day before the coronation, the monarch then processed through London to Westminster. This last happened in 1661 with Charles II.

Since 1902, the finale of coronation day itself has been a balcony appearance from the new monarch and other members of the Royal Family. This was inaugurated by Edward VII and Queen Alexandra.

The original 14th century order of service, Liber Regalis, was written in Latin and descends directly from that of King Edgar at Bath in 973 CE. The Liber Regalis has provided the basis for every Coronation since.

The Coronation Oath and the Accession Declaration Oath are the only aspects of the ceremony that are required by law.

Handel’s coronation anthem Zadok The Priest has been played at every coronation since 1727.

Their Majesties’ Coronation will include 12 new commissions of music, including a Coronation Anthem by Andrew Lloyd Webber, a Coronation March by Patrick Doyle, and other works by Ian Farrington, Sarah Class, Nigel Hess, Paul Mealor, Tarik O’Regan, Roxanna Panufnik, Shirley J. Thompson, Judith Weir, Roderick Williams, and Debbie Wiseman.

The Official Royal Harpist, Alis Huws, will also perform as part of the Coronation Orchestra.

In 2023, Anglican churches will mark the coronation by ringing a special peal of bells in an event called ‘Ring for the King – Ringing for the King’s Coronation’.

The Gold State Coach is an enclosed eight-horse-drawn carriage used by the Royal Family on grand state occasions, such as coronations, royal weddings, and the jubilees of a monarch. It has been used at the coronation of every British monarch since George IV. Until World War II, the coach was the monarch’s usual transport to and from the State Opening of Parliament.

The King will be crowned in St Edward’s Chair, made in 1300 for Edward I and used at every Coronation since that time. It is permanently kept in Westminster Abbey.

Steeped in history and tradition, the St. Edward’s Crown, made in 1661, will be placed on the head of The King during the Coronation service. It weighs 4 pounds and 12 ounces, or about 2.2kg, and is made of solid gold.

The St. Edward’s Crown has been used in the coronation of every British monarch since the coronation of King Charles II.

In 1902, at the coronation of King Edward VII, the then Archbishop of Canterbury mistakenly placed the St Edward’s Crown on the King’s head back to front.

Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife, was the only Queen Consort to be crowned with the original St Edward’s Crown. This took place on 1st June 1533.

The Queen Consort will wear Queen Mary’s Crown at the Coronation. It is the first time a Consort’s crown has been re-used since the 18th century – and will feature diamonds from Queen Elizabeth II’s personal jewellery collection.

Edward VIII was never crowned as King. His reign lasted only 325 days. His brother Albert consequently became King, using his last name George, as George VI.

The hollow gold orb, set with pearls, precious stones and a large amethyst beneath the cross, was made in 1661 and has been used in every coronation since then.

The Sovereign’s Ring was originally made in 1831 for William IV, and has a cross of Saint George (patron saint of England) in rubies (thought to represent dignity) against a blue background of a single sapphire.

Also known as ‘The Wedding Ring of England’, the Sovereign’s Ring has featured in every coronation since King William IV in 1831, when it was made.

At the coronation of Queen Victoria, her fingers were so small that the ring could not be reduced far enough in size and an alternative was created.

Edward the Confessor may have been the first monarch to assemble a regalia, or crown jewels. This has been replaced or altered over the succeeding centuries.

A “coronation spoon” has been used at every coronation since 1349 to anoint the monarch with a secret mixture of oils.

The oil which will be used to anoint King Charles III has been consecrated in Jerusalem. Olive oils from the Mount of Olives, not far from His Majesty’s grandmother Princess Alice’s crypt, were mixed as part of making the chrism oil.

The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was the first to be televised and for most people, it was the first time they had watched an event on television. 27 million people in the UK watched the ceremony on television and 11 million listened on the radio.

The first photograph of a coronation was taken during that of George V in the early 20th century by Sir Benjamin Stone, an MP and amateur photographer.

In May 1937, the BBC was allowed to broadcast George VI’s coronation service on the radio.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, public spectacle sometimes overshadowed religious significance. At George III’s coronation some of the congregation began to eat a meal during the sermon.

In 1308, guests at the coronation feast of Edward II managed to drink 1,000 casks of wine.

Coronation Chicken was invented for the guests who were to be entertained, following Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation. The food had to be prepared in advance, and Florist Constance Spry proposed a recipe of cold chicken in a curry cream sauce with a well-seasoned dressed salad of rice, green peas and mixed herbs. Constance Spry’s recipe won the approval of the Minister of Works and has since been known as Coronation Chicken.

Attendance at the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was the most substantial yet: more than 8,000 guests representing 129 nations.

King Edward VII’s coronation was scheduled for June 1902 but was postponed after the King fell ill, meaning invited foreign dignitaries had left London by the time the ceremony took place.

More than 6,000 men and women of the UK’s Armed Forces – and nearly 400 Armed Forces personnel from at least 35 Commonwealth countries – will take part in the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla.

In 1953, Princess Marie Louise (Queen Victoria’s granddaughter) witnessed her fourth coronation, having also been present for those of Kings Edward VII, George V and George VI.

The Coronation Emblem for His Majesty’s 2023 Coronation was designed by Sir Jony Ive, who was formerly Chief Design Officer of Apple, Inc.

In 1689, King William III and Queen Mary II were crowned as joint Sovereigns for the first and only time.