Egypt’s Ambassador Designate Ahmed El Fadly congratulated Mosimane on being the first African Coach of Al Ahly Football Club

Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt

Egypt Press & Information Office

Ambassador Ahmed El Fadly, Egypt’s newly designated Ambassador to South Africa, called Pitso Mosimane, the former head coach of South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns football club, before the latter’s flight from Johannesburg to Cairo to assume his new position as head coach of Al Ahly football club following the departure of the former coach René Wheeler.

            Ambassador Designate El Fadly contacted Mosimane and his coaching team before they departed to Egypt and congratulated him on being the first African coach of Al Ahly football club and the first South African coach in the Egyptian Football League. El Fadly pointed out that Mosimane’s appointment is a practical application in the field of sport of what African leaders have always asserted regarding the need to ensure that Africa is for Africans in all fields, adding that this appointment will open the path for more reliance on African coaches in Egypt especially in light of what African players have proven in their encounters on the field with their Egyptian brothers. El Fadly also added that in this context there was a huge rnsibility on Mosimane to contribute from his new position to strengthening the relations between Egypt and South Africa on the popular level given the large fan base of both Al Ahly and  Mamelodi Sundowns in the African Continent.

            Ambassador Designate El Fadly assured Mosimane of his confidence in the latter’s ability to fulfil his new task given the big achievements he had with Sundowns including winning the African Champions League and the African Super Cup, and wished him success in his new position.

             Thanking Ambassador Designate Ahmed El Fadly for the assistance given to him by the Embassy of Egypt in Pretoria, Pitso Mosimane also congratulated the former on his designation as the new Ambassador of Egypt to South Africa, and expressed that he was honoured to have been chosen as the new head coach of Al Ahly, and that he was aware of the huge responsibility that has been placed on his shoulders and was eager to begin his new task, promising to spare no effort to make the club and its fans proud of the results he will achieve with them.

Mosimane also released a statement to the fans of Mamelodi Sundowns before departing South Africa where he expressed his sadness at leaving the club after 8 years in which he won the ABSA league five times, and that this opportunity would not have come to him had he not been part of the team that led Mamelodi Sundowns in winning the African Champions League and reaching the Club World Cup finals. 

Issued by: Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt

Head of the Press & Information Office

Press Counselor/ Ayman Walash

Pretoria- South Africa

HIS EXCELLENCY MR. KANAT TUMYSH, AMBASSADOR OF KAZAKHSTAN TO THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA VISITED JOHANNESBURG YUNUS EMRE INSTITUTE AND THE TURKISH CULTURAL CENTRE-SOUTH AFRICA

His Excellency Mr. Kanat Tumysh, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the Republic of South Africa, together with some of his diplomatic staff and other stakeholders working on the National South African School Essay competition in commemoration of the 1150th Anniversary of Abu Nasr Muhammad Ibn Muhammad Ibn Tarhan Ibn Uzlag Al-Farabi At-Turki (850AD-950AD), the renowned Medieval philosopher and scientist of Turkic origin, who was born on Kazakh soil, visited, Johannesburg Yunus Emre Enstitüsü (Institute), or shortly YEE and the Turkish Cultural Centre-South Africa. This academic institution promotes Turkey and Turkish language, as well as Turkish and common Turkic history, culture and arts to people who want to have education in these fields.

YEE carries out studies for teaching Turkish in the cultural centres, established abroad, for the purposes of promoting culture and art activities, giving support to scientific researchers, as well as to improve the friendship between Turkey and other countries, and increase the cultural exchange.

Yunus Emre Institute and Turkish Cultural Centre in Johannesburg started teaching the Turkish Language to South Africans in 2017 with the intent of improving the friendship between Turkish people and South African people in the field of art and cultural activities.

 

Ambassador Tumysh and his delegation had an opportunity to engage with the Director of the institution Abdülaziz Yiğit, who briefed Kazakh diplomat on the activities of the YEE in Johannesburg.

Abdülaziz Yiğit said that the institute was inaugurated in October 2017 by H.E. Mr. İsmet Yılmaz, Minister of National Education of the Republic of Turkey. Today students of the YEE range from the age 7-70 years. Institute’s courses include Turkish language, calligraphy and Ebru art (paper marbling).

The institute also promotes educational opportunities for South Africans, who want to study in Turkey under a scholarship program. YEE launched the first Turkish library in sub-Saharan Africa, which benefits both South African and Turkish researchers.

YEE named after the influential poet Yunus Emre (1238AD-1320AD), who was a Turkish folk poet and Sufi mystic, who He wrote in Old Anatolian Turkish and greatly influenced Turkish culture. It is especially important to highlight that in the entire world Yunus Emre has always been recognized as a symbol of human values, human love, and social peace. Therefore, the Institute promotes Turkey’s culture and art to the world, and work for a more peaceful world, where one understands the other with the most competent, polite, and unique language of the civilization.

Yunus Emre’s name was chosen for the Institute, which acts with a people-oriented approach. Yet, this great person not only contributed to the development of Turkish with his poems, but also gave messages that aimed at people living in peace and within common values without any discrimination for religion, language and race, with his philosophy built on universal human values. An objective, set by YEE, is to maintain this basic philosophy in all its activities.

South Africans have shown overwhelming interest in Turkish language and culture, with many enrolling in related Turkish courses, this academic year.

 

His Excellency Ambassador Kanat Tumysh had a guided tour of the institution and shared the similarly values and teachings of Al-Farabi. He informed his interlocutors about the Kazakhstan’s and Kazakh Embassy’s recent cultural, educational and scientific initiatives, as well as the National School Essay competition in South Africa in commemoration of the 1150th Anniversary of Al-Farabi. Yet, this year Kazakhstan and the entire international community are commemorating the 1150th anniversary of birth of Abu Nasr Al-Farabi, great medieval philosopher and scholar of the East, who is credited by global academia as the Second Teacher of the World.

The 40th General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) endorsed the worldwide celebration of Al-Farabi’s jubilee by its General Resolution 68 of 25 November 2019. Subsequently, the Executive Board of UNESCO included it in its Calendars of Events for 2020, and kindly requested all the states to support it and contribute to this end.

The Embassy of Kazakhstan to South Africa will therefore continue to engage with different institutions to share the understanding of values and wisdom of Al-Farabi, said Ambassador of Kazakhstan.

TRADE DEPARTMENT WELCOMES UK DONATION TO SOLIDARITY FUND

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) has welcomed the United Kingdom (UK) government’s donation of R50 million to the Solidarity Fund.

“The grant is aimed at extending the Solidarity Fund’s ongoing efforts to counter the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa, focusing specifically on projects supporting and promoting women,” DTIC said on Tuesday.

This contribution forms part of the UK’s international COVID-19 response and recovery efforts, and signals its support for the Solidarity Fund as an independent, South African-run initiative.

“The sum earmarked for the Fund amounts to a £2.15 million (R50 million) donation, which will be used to bolster high priority initiatives currently supported by the Fund. To date, the UK has committed £6.5 million in support of South Africa’s response to the pandemic,” the department said.

The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Nomalungelo Gina, thanked the UK government for the donation.

“I am excited that the British Commission has made specifications that this donation must be directed to the fight against gender-based violence and that it must also be channelled to supporting women’s economic empowerment and small, medium and micro enterprises,” said Gina at the signing ceremony.

The department said the Solidarity Fund could make a meaningful contribution to approximately 360 existing local and community organisations, which provide critical services in the GBV eco-system.

“With this grant, funding for the second intervention in GBV support will now increase from R50 million to R75 million,” the DTIC said.

Gina said a portion of the donation will be paid to women involved in agricultural projects through a voucher system.

“Evidence shows that we have more women than men in the agricultural sector, both in small-scale and subsistence farming, in our rural areas. Women produce food for their households and sell some of these products as hawkers at taxi ranks and other public spaces.

“It is therefore logical that the empowerment of women in this important sector will boost their efforts,” Gina said.

Subsistence and household farmers have been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, compromising their ability to continue their ongoing farming activities or preparing for the next farming cycle.

“A farming input voucher for subsistence/household farmers has been deemed to be an appropriate short-term response to support these farmers. The total number of beneficiaries is estimated to be 47 000, across all nine provinces. The UK government’s donation will increase funding for the farming input voucher project to R100 million, targeted at 66% women subsistence/household farmers in rural areas,” the department said.

British High Commissioner to South Africa, Nigel Casey, said they were delighted to contribute to the Solidarity Fund, a new and innovative initiative that combines public, private and individual commitment in tackling the impacts of this global crisis.

“We are particularly pleased to support the Fund’s work to help women affected by persistently high rates of gender-based violence, and to promote women’s economic inclusion and empowerment along the long road to recovery,” Casey said.

Interim Chief Executive Officer of The Solidarity Fund, Nomkhita Nqweni, said such donations, and all the generous contributions from governments, business and individuals, enable the fund to keep the fight going, and provide much needed assistance to those who need it most. –

Monday, 14 September 2020, International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister, Mr Alvin Botes participated in the handover of the donation of R50 million from the Government of the United Kingdom. at the British High Commission in Pretoria.

Monday, 14 September 2020, International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister, Mr Alvin Botes participated in the handover of the donation of R50 million from the Government of the United Kingdom. at the British High Commission in Pretoria.

In his remarks, the Deputy Minister said that South Africa’s foreign policy propositions are premised on four core principles including:

1. AfricanSolidarity
2. Advancing Global South #Solidarity;
3. Deepen cooperation between SA and the Global South
4. The heightening of global multilateralism

“The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasised the need for increased international cooperation and enhanced the multilateral approach in solving the world’s biggest problems.”, said the Deputy Minister.

He further highlighted the fact that the African Union, under the stewardship of President Cyril Ramaphosa has identified the next 10 years as the decade of advancing women’s economic empowerment.

Mr Alvin Botes spoke of the significance of the relations between SouthAfrica, the UK, and the Solidarity Fund; “More importantly, this trilateral relationship confirms a shared commitment between both State and Non-State actors to join efforts and energies together in the fight against gender-based violence which evidently is a product of gender inequalities.”

Deputy Minister Botes added that,
“When jobs get lost normally women are the first to face the brunt of unemployed. When households endure the strain of a contracting economy women evidently bear the brunt of social frustrations.”

 “It is always good to make new friends, but it is indeed better to keep old friends.” – Deputy Minister Alvin Botes to UK High Commissioner Nigel Casey and the people and Government of the United Kingdom.

UK Government donates R50m to South Africa’s Solidarity Fund for projects supporting and promoting women

Johannesburg, 14 September 2020

The Solidarity Fund today announced the receipt of a R50m grant from the government of the United Kingdom. The grant is aimed at extending the Solidarity Fund’s ongoing efforts to counter the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa – focusing specifically on projects supporting and promoting women.

This contribution forms part of the UK’s international COVID19 response and recovery efforts, and signals their support for the Solidarity Fund as an independent, South African run initiative. The sum earmarked for the Fund amounts to a £2.15m (R50m) donation that will be used to bolster high priority initiatives currently supported by the Fund.  To date, the UK has committed £6.5m in support of South Africa’s response to the pandemic.

Interim CEO of The Solidarity Fund, Nomkhita Nqweni said: “As South Africa enters the sixth month of lockdown, one thing has become clear – we are not in this alone. As the world struggles in unison with the global COVID19 pandemic, many governments have looked beyond their borders to see how they can help others fight the battle. It’s the South African concept of Ubuntu on a worldwide scale.”

With Women’s Month in SA having just passed, the British High Commission specifically expressed interest in using these funds to support the Fund’s efforts in responding to Gender-Based Violence and women’s economic empowerment and SMEs. As such, the funding will be deployed to support two existing Humanitarian Pillar projects, namely the second intervention in Gender-Based Violence support and Farming Input Vouchers, with each project receiving R25m.

Nigel Casey, British High Commissioner to South Africa said:  “We’re delighted to be able to contribute to the Solidarity Fund, a new and innovative initiative which combines  public, private and individual commitment  in tackling the impacts of this global crisis. We’re particularly pleased to support the Fund’s work to  help  women affected by persistently high rates of gender-based violence and to promote  women’s economic inclusion and empowerment along the long road to recovery.”

  • Gender-Based Violence support

One of the many, tragic consequences of the COVID-19 lockdown has been a reported upsurge in cases of gender-based violence. Lockdown restrictions have increased the already high demand for GBV-related services and have also made it more difficult for women and children to access critical information and support.

The Solidarity Fund can make a meaningful contribution to ensure approximately 360 existing local and community organisations that provide critical services in the GBV eco-system can continue to do so for the thousands of women and children affected by GBV. With this grant, funding for the second intervention in Gender-Based Violence support will now increase from R50m to R75m.

  • Farming Input vouchers

Subsistence and household farmers have been impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions, compromising their ability to continue their ongoing  farming activities or preparing for the next farming cycle. These farmers, who are predominantly women, play a critical role in household food security. By supporting their ongoing ability to produce food, it would prevent these households from being pushed into a deeper poverty trap and provide direct access to food.

A farming input voucher for subsistence/household farmers has been deemed to be an appropriate short-term response to supporting these farmers. The total number of beneficiaries is estimated to be 47 000, across all 9 provinces. The UK government’s donation will increase funding for the farming input voucher project to R100m, targeted at 66% women subsistence/household farmers in rural areas.

“Even though South Africa has come so far, the journey is far from over.” says Nomkhita Nqweni. “Donations such as these, and all the generous contributions from governments, business and individuals, enable us to keep the fight going and provide much needed assistance to those who need it most.”

H. E. NEDILSON JORGE, BRAZIL’S  AMBASSADOR TO SOUTH AFRICA ON THE  OCCASION OF THE 198TH ANNIVERSARY OF INDEPENDENCE & 10 YEARS OF BRAZIL-SA STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP. 7 SEPTEMBER 2020

H. E. NEDILSON JORGE, BRAZIL’S  AMBASSADOR TO SOUTH AFRICA ON THE  OCCASION OF THE 198TH ANNIVERSARY OF INDEPENDENCE & 10 YEARS OF BRAZIL-SA STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP.
7 SEPTEMBER 2020

Today is a special day for Brazilians, as it marks the 198th anniversary of our Independence. It is a joyous occasion and an opportunity to celebrate the good relations between Brazil and South Africa. This is particularly relevant in 2020, as we commemorate 10 years of the establishment of our Strategic Bilateral Partnership.

During the last decade, our countries have achieved unprecedented levels in their relations. Brazil and South Africa are natural partners. The historic bonds of friendship and solidarity between our peoples are at the heart of the excellent relationship between our countries.

These solid ties have impelled our past and present governments to pursue g

Today is a special day for Brazilians, as it marks the 198th anniversary of our Independence. It is a joyous occasion and an opportunity to celebrate the good relations between Brazil and South Africa. This is particularly relevant in 2020, as we commemorate 10 years of the establishment of our Strategic Bilateral Partnership.

During the last decade, our countries have achieved unprecedented levels in their relations. Brazil and South Africa are natural partners. The historic bonds of friendship and solidarity between our peoples are at the heart of the excellent relationship between our countries.

These solid ties have impelled our past and present governments to pursue growing political, economic, and socio-cultural relations, which culminated in 10 years of bilateral Strategic Partnership.

Under its framework, Brazil and South Africa have consolidated relations marked by intense political dialogue, relevant economic links, and significant cooperation in key areas of mutual interest. Most importantly, our relationship is actively contributing to the promotion of sustainable and lasting development in both countries. In the insert that comes with today’s edition of the Pretoria News and The Star, the Embassy of Brazil sought to present some of the many important achievements of our bilateral partnership in the last 10 years and to outline a more in-depth picture of the current dimension of our relations.

While we celebrate our accomplishments, however, we must not take our eyes off the prospects for our partnership as it enters its second decade. With this view, and as an example of the potential of our partnership, we have also singled out in the insert some new areas for cooperation, which both countries have expressed their willingness to explore further.

These new joint initiatives, in their early stages of development, cover areas increasingly relevant to our countries such as the fight against transnational crimes and criminal networks. They also comprise highly innovative and dynamic sectors, such as bioenergy, start-ups incubation, and the aerospace industry. I am certain that they are bound to play a significant role in the efforts of our countries to catch up with the latest changes in the world economy. They will also assist in the efforts of our governments to generate new jobs, especially among the youth.

Perhaps the most important opportunity for cooperation in the next decade, however, involves one of the most ancient activities in human history: agriculture. In the past decades, Brazil has become a renowned powerhouse in agriculture and livestock. Most notably, we have managed to induce our green revolution in a way that enhanced our food security, promoted social inclusion, and did not compromise the environment.

We have done this by combining continuous investment in research and special attention to smallholder farmers. Today, there are more than 4 million properties of the kind, employing over 12 million people and generating a revenue of more than 55 billion dollars every year.

They account for 40% of the income of the country’s economically active population. Moreover, they are crucial for our food security, producing over 70% of the beans, 60% of the milk, and 50% of the poultry consumed in Brazil, among many other staples.

Gains in productivity over the past decades have made possible these results, while also preserving the natural environment. Today, Brazil has more than two-thirds of its territory still covered by native vegetation.

The governments of Brazil and South Africa are currently exploring the possibilities of joint endeavours in this sector. Though discussions are still going on, the perspectives are encouraging. Advancements in agriculture, especially regarding smallholders, could contribute to ensure food security, reduce unemployment and promote more inclusive and sustainable economic growth not only in South Africa but in the whole southern region of this continent.

Though our goals may sound ambitious, we are deeply encouraged by our achievements so far. Above all, we remain committed to the vision that led to the establishment of our Strategic Partnership, ten years ago. We can achieve growing prosperity for our peoples through deeper cooperation and ever more solid bonds of friendship between our countries.

Growing political, economic, and socio-cultural relations, which culminated in 10 years of bilateral Strategic Partnership.

Under its framework, Brazil and South Africa have consolidated relations marked by intense political dialogue, relevant economic links, and significant cooperation in key areas of mutual interest. Most importantly, our relationship is actively contributing to the promotion of sustainable and lasting development in both countries. In the insert that comes with today’s edition of the Pretoria News and The Star, the Embassy of Brazil sought to present some of the many important achievements of our bilateral partnership in the last 10 years and to outline a more in-depth picture of the current dimension of our relations.

While we celebrate our accomplishments, however, we must not take our eyes off the prospects for our partnership as it enters its second decade. With this view, and as an example of the potential of our partnership, we have also singled out in the insert some new areas for cooperation, which both countries have expressed their willingness to explore further.

These new joint initiatives, in their early stages of development, cover areas increasingly relevant to our countries such as the fight against transnational crimes and criminal networks. They also comprise highly innovative and dynamic sectors, such as bioenergy, start-ups incubation, and the aerospace industry. I am certain that they are bound to play a significant role in the efforts of our countries to catch up with the latest changes in the world economy. They will also assist in the efforts of our governments to generate new jobs, especially among the youth.

Perhaps the most important opportunity for cooperation in the next decade, however, involves one of the most ancient activities in human history: agriculture. In the past decades, Brazil has become a renowned powerhouse in agriculture and livestock. Most notably, we have managed to induce our green revolution in a way that enhanced our food security, promoted social inclusion, and did not compromise the environment.

We have done this by combining continuous investment in research and special attention to smallholder farmers. Today, there are more than 4 million properties of the kind, employing over 12 million people and generating a revenue of more than 55 billion dollars every year.

They account for 40% of the income of the country’s economically active population. Moreover, they are crucial for our food security, producing over 70% of the beans, 60% of the milk, and 50% of the poultry consumed in Brazil, among many other staples.

Gains in productivity over the past decades have made possible these results, while also preserving the natural environment. Today, Brazil has more than two-thirds of its territory still covered by native vegetation.

The governments of Brazil and South Africa are currently exploring the possibilities of joint endeavours in this sector. Though discussions are still going on, the perspectives are encouraging. Advancements in agriculture, especially regarding smallholders, could contribute to ensure food security, reduce unemployment and promote more inclusive and sustainable economic growth not only in South Africa but in the whole southern region of this continent.

Though our goals may sound ambitious, we are deeply encouraged by our achievements so far. Above all, we remain committed to the vision that led to the establishment of our Strategic Partnership, ten years ago. We can achieve growing prosperity for our peoples through deeper cooperation and ever more solid bonds of friendship between our countries.

STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS BY H.E. MR. KASSYM-JOMART TOKAYEV, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF KAZAKHSTAN. 1 September 2020

KAZAKHSTAN IN A NEW REALITY: TIME FOR ACTION

 NUR-SULTAN

 1 SEPTEMBER 2020

Dear Compatriots,

Dear Chairs of Chambers of the Parliament, MPs, Members of the Government!

The work of the new, the Sixth session of our Parliament has begun at a difficult time.

The fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, which poses a serious threat to the planet, is still going on in our country.

We thus have joined forces to protect the lives and health of our citizens.

At such a critical moment, our people have united as one.

The fight against the pandemic was made possible because of the noble qualities of our wise people. It became clear that it is important to help others, to be compassionate, to resist a sudden coronavirus.

I sincerely thank the doctors, law enforcement officers, servicemen, volunteers, entrepreneurs and all the citizens who have not been indifferent. You have set a bright example of exceptional perseverance and great responsibility.

I think this is a manifestation of true love for the Motherland.

In the current difficult situation, the main task before us is to maintain socio-economic stability, while securing jobs and incomes.

Two packages of operational anti-crisis measures have been adopted.

More than 4.5 million temporarily unemployed people received assistance in the amount of KZT 42,500. More than KZT 450 billion has been spent on it. Such assistance has not been provided in neighbouring countries, or even in other larger countries.

More than a million people received food and household items.

At the initiative of the Leader of our Nation (Elbasy) – Chairman of the ‘Nur Otan’ (‘Radiant Fatherland’) party, more than 550 thousand families received one-time financial assistance with the support of the ‘Birgemiz’ (‘We are together’) Foundation.

The pandemic has become a challenging period for all countries. They are having a hard time and continuing to fight the epidemic. In some places the situation is stabilizing, while in others new foci of the virus are appearing.

The Government has learned from  mistakes and started to work quickly.

The main thing is that we did not hide anything from our citizens, but openly published all the information about the deaths from the epidemic. No matter how bitter it is, we are telling the truth. This is an advantage for Kazakhstan over some countries.

However, the current improvement of the situation should not be a reason for relaxation. The fight against COVID-19 is still ongoing. According to the World Health Organization, it will take at least two years to overcome the pandemic.

We will thus work hard in the coming months. We must be ready for further  development of the situation.

We should not act immediately only when there is a problem but take precautionary measures and work carefully.

All decisions must be based on carefully verified assumptions, forecasts, and prognoses.

The Government is continuing to introduce specific restrictions and efficacious quarantine methods.

A comprehensive programme for the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic will be developed further in Kazakhstan.

The state will fulfil all obligations in the social sphere and those aimed at supporting our national economy. KZT 1 Trillion is allocated from the National Fund for this purpose.

Indexation of social benefits will continue. We plan to allocate more than KZT 1 Trillion to this end by 2023.

We will definitely overcome the current difficulties. However, we must not forget the long-term development of the country in the new geo-political situation.

Today, the world is experiencing the worst crisis in 100 years. According to experts, it will take at least up to 5 years for the recovery of the global economy.

However, in the future the competitive abilities (capabilities, capacities, advantages) and performance of the leading countries will be strengthened  during such crises and fundamental changes.

Kazakhstan must take its rightful place (niche) in the new world.

Thanks to the far-sighted policy of H.E. Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev, the First President and the Leader of our Nation (Elbasy), we have laid a solid foundation for economic development, and gained a good reputation on the world stage.

Therefore, at a time when a new world order is being formed, we must give a new impetus to our reforms. In this regard, we must adhere to the Nation’s Plan and the Five Institutional Reforms.

We are obliged to create conditions for a decent life for our citizens, to protect their rights, to ensure the rule of law, to strengthen the fight against corruption.

So, our Plan of Action will be as follows.

I. NEW MODEL OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION

Reforms in this area should be carried out systematically.

Let us start by changing the approaches to public administration, personnel policy, decision-making system and responsibility for the implementation of state decisions.

In the context of a pandemic and crisis, the current public administration system operates at maximum speed. Solving operational problems takes time and resources.

But in no case should we lose sight of the distant horizon. Therefore, I have decided to create an Agency for Strategic Planning and Reforms with direct report to the President.

Such a body previously existed and successfully carried out the tasks assigned to it.

Now it will again become the central link in the entire system of state planning.

The reforms developed by the Agency must be concrete, realistic and, most importantly, mandatory for all governmental agencies.

The Supreme Presidential Council for Reforms is being created, the decisions of which will become final.

For greater objectivity in assessing the rapidly changing situation, the Committee on Statistics is transferred to this new Agency.

It so happened in the system of state planning that the state apparatus acts as the main planner, executor, and appraiser (evaluator, assessor). It is not right.

The state planning system should ensure the mobilization of all human resources, involve the private sector and society as full partners at all stages, inter alia, planning, execution, and evaluation stages.

It is necessary to stop preparing state programs with a large number of benchmarks and indicators. It is time to move to the format of laconic national projects, understandable to all citizens.

Within the goal setting, we should determine the primacy of the result over the process.

Carrying out such a radical reform will require a revision of the activities of the entire state apparatus. Synergy in the planning and implementation of reforms becomes important here.

It will require a reboot of the public service (civil service) system.

The pandemic and the transfer of most governmental officials to remote work showed that the state apparatus can and should be reduced.

I instruct you to speed up the terms of cutting the state apparatus and workers of the quasi-public sector. This year they should be cut by 10%, and next year by another 15%. Thus, we will solve the problem of reducing the number of officials by 25% in 2021.

Depending on the results of implementation of this instruction, and taking into account the ongoing process of digitalization in our country, we will make a decision on further reductions in the state apparatus.

The saved funds will increase the salaries of the remaining employees.

Low-paid public service is too expensive for society. Misunderstanding of this issue leads to negative selection, loss of competencies and initiative, and most importantly, to corruption.

Therefore, from July 1, 2021, a factor-point scale should be introduced in the public administration. This will lead to increased responsibility and motivation of public servants (civil servants).

We are in dire need of new personnel – professional officers, with fresh views and initiatives. The public service (civil service) should not became a closed caste.

At the same time, it is important to ensure continuity and institutional memory, without letting professional and ethical demands  fall.

Here I would like to dwell on the question of the institution of executive secretaries.

With the introduction of this institution, it was assumed that their permanence would free the ministers from administrative and personnel work, and ensure the stability of each and every ministry’s apparatus.

In fact, this did not happen. Moreover, there are frequent cases of lack of mutual understanding between ministers and executive secretaries. As a result, the common cause suffers.

The demand should be from one person – a minister appointed by the President.

Therefore, the institution of executive secretaries should be abolished. Their responsibilities should be assigned to the heads of the staff.

To implement the above proposals, I instruct the adoption of a package of amendments to the legislation on public service (civil service) by the end of this year.

The process of creation of regulatory acts (rule-making and standard-setting issues) should also be reviewed.

During the quarantine, the sluggishness of the legal system gave rise to a ‘bottleneck’ effect. I had to introduce a state of emergency and adopt the so-called ‘emergency decree.’

But such measures cannot be a systemic response to crisis situations.

The main problem lies in the excessive legislative regulation of the executive branch.

We demand a lot from ministers and akims (governors), but their powers are limited by detailed norms of laws and regulations.

This slows down the work of not only the state apparatus, but also overloads the Parliament. Its Chambers are forced to consider detailed norms. But they could easily become the competence of the executive bodies.

In a rapidly changing world, slow decision-making becomes a threat to national security.

Therefore, within the framework of the Concept of Legal Policy, by way of changing the legislation, a balance should be maintained between the levels of legal regulation.

It is impossible to hesitate with this.

There is also another important problem to be addressed, such as improving the corporate governance of quasi-state companies.

There are dozens of national companies and tens of thousands of state-owned enterprises operating in the country. At the same time, large quasi-state organizations are joint stock companies. Their purpose is to ensure profit.

But if part of the state functions is transferred to them, then their activities should be of a purely service, auxiliary (supportive) nature for citizens and the national economy.

In many joint stock companies, there is a confusion of concepts. Corporate governance becomes an additional bureaucratic procedure.

The reform of the entire quasi-public sector must be continued.

Some decisions will be announced today. With regard to the rest of them, the members of Government will additionally present their proposals to me.

II. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN NEW REALITIES

The long oil super-cycle appears to be over. We should be prepared for a completely new world market environment.

The creation of a truly diversified, technological economy is not just a necessity for us. This path is already uncontested.

At the same time, our national economy must work to improve the well-being of our people.

The growing public demand for a fair sharing of benefits from the growth of national income, as well as for effective social “lifts” must be maintained accordingly, in a positive manner.

Therefore, the new economic course of our country should be based on seven basic principles:

1.  Equitable distribution of benefits and responsibilities.

2. The leading role of private entrepreneurship.

3. Fair competition, opening markets for a new generation of entrepreneurs.

4. Increased productivity, increased complexity, and technological effectiveness of our national economy.

5. Development of human capital, investment in a new type of education.

6. “Greening” the economy, and environmental protection.

7. Adoption of well-grounded decisions by the state, and its responsibility for them before society.

In doing so, we must proceed from our competitive advantages and real capabilities.

The most important task Kazakhstan faces currently is to fully utilize our industrial potential.

Despite our success in this area, we are still unable to fully realize the great potential of the domestic market. About two-thirds of processed goods are imported.

In order to increase the strategic capacity of our national economy, it is urgent to develop new areas of processing. These include ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy, petro-chemistry, automotive, machinery manufacturing and mechanical engineering, construction materials and food production, as well as other industries.

The development of a quality new national industry requires a modernized legal framework.

The issues of regulation and support of the industry are reflected in various legislative acts. However, there is no common goal, no interlinkages between policies and measures.

There are also many laws that regulate individual sectors or industries.

For example, the Law on Electricity, the Law on Transport.

A consistent law on” Industrial Policy” defining the principles, goals and objectives of the development of the manufacturing industry must be developed by the end of the year.

It is also necessary to improve specific measures to support the industry. We do not have a systematic and unified position. As a result, we are wasting money on countless projects.

Of course, we will maintain broad “horizontal” measures to support the industry.

At the same time, the Government will have to identify strategically important production facilities, key export priorities, and significantly expand the toolkit of support measures.

Hence, the package of in-kind grants, concessional financing, partial guarantees, and export support mechanisms should be envisaged for strategic projects.

Some of the capital expenditures of investors can be recovered by offsetting against tax liabilities.

It is important to provide for guaranteed procurement from the state, quasi-state sectors and subsoil users.

The main novelty and innovation should be the stability of legislative conditions for the entire duration of the project.

Of course, these measures are not exhaustive. The specific level of support will depend on the volume of capital investments and the priority of the project.

In order to fix the agreements between the state and investors, a new instrument will be introduced – a strategic investment agreement.

This initiative should be implemented by the end of this year under the draft Law (bill) of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On Economic Recovery.”

The pool of projects that will be included in strategic agreements will be formed by the Government by April 2021.

The issue of full access of processing enterprises to domestic raw materials at affordable prices also requires a systemic solution.

I instruct the Government to develop regulatory mechanisms by the end of this year, in order to ensure full loading of Kazakhstani processing industries with raw materials.

Regulated purchasing has a direct effect on industrial development. Its total volume is about KZT 15 Trillion, or a one fifth of the Kazakhstani GDP.

The task of the Government and akims (governors) is to maximize this potential.

On my instructions, a new Law was adopted that improved the procurement system of government agencies.

However, procurement by national companies is still non-transparent and difficult to access by ordinary entrepreneurs.

I instruct you to develop by the end of this year a unified law, covering all purchases of the quasi-public sector.

All regulated procurement should be carried out as transparently as possible and exclusively through the Single Procurement Window.

But improvement in our national legislation will not help, if there is no appropriate law enforcement practice.

There are frequent cases, when cheap and low-quality imported goods are passed off as domestic and win procurement competitions.

The register of domestic manufacturers and industrial certificates have not yet become a real barrier against false manufacturers.

The Government, together with the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs of the Republic of Kazakhstan “Atameken” (“Fatherland”), shall prepare by the end of this year specific proposals to increase the local content.

Our common goal in the industrial sector is to increase production in manufacturing by at least 1.5 times in five years.

However, industrial policy alone cannot achieve significant progress in industrialization.

It is imperative that monetary, fiscal, and other key policies are not isolated from the needs of the real sector. I will talk about this further.

*  *  *

It is impossible to create a competitive economy without the development of the Agri sector.

There are pressing issues in this area that have not been solved. In particular, the lack of access to land, the lack of long-term “cheap loans”, as well as the shortage of professionals.

Urgent measures should be taken not only to increase productivity and production of raw materials, but also to develop warehousing and transport infrastructure.

I believe, it is possible to create seven large ecosystems in our country. Among their aims should be the production and processing of meat; fruits; vegetables; sugar; wheat; oilseeds; as well as dairy products. Special attention should be paid to the fisheries sector as well.

Large projects, which are the core of added value, should play an important role.

It is better to utilize the potential of private farms in the framework of vertical cooperation.

Private farming can provide income to millions of rural residents. They should be mobilized to create regional food hubs.

We must not forget the potential of horizontal cooperation in the Agri sector as well. Without it, there will be no rapid development of the agro-industrial complex.

Private farms, which are not united, are, in fact, dying. As such, it is inappropriate to talk about the production of high quality and abundant products, as well as uninterrupted supply of goods. This is the reason why we are not competitive and cannot get rid of imports.

Yet, all rights to land and other property shall be respected within the cooperation process. Hence, cooperation will allow farms to focus on the organization of procurement of raw materials, production process and sale of products.

The hard work of rural workers is underestimated. This is not a secret. Most of the revenue comes from speculators.

Therefore, it is necessary to develop a set of measures to stimulate cooperation in rural areas under the programmes of subsidies and tax benefits.

There is another important issue. Next year, the moratorium on the use of agricultural land in respect of certain provisions of the Land Code will be lifted.

Yet, our land will not be sold to foreigners. However, the Government should develop other ways to put agricultural land into full economic usage. It is necessary to attract investment in the agricultural sector.

The shortage of professionals, as well as the underdevelopment of agricultural science – these are the accumulated problems in the Agro-industry. The executive branch must take concrete measures in this direction.

Technologically outdated irrigation systems are also a big obstacle to the further development of our agro-industrial complex. Sometimes, it leads to a situation, where the irrigation process is effective for only 60% of the time (when the 40% percent of watering is useless). Our country, which is already suffering from water shortages, cannot allow this.

It is necessary to ensure the regulation of this industry and develop economic incentives for the introduction of modern technologies and innovations.

The current state program for the development of the agro-industrial complex will be completed next year.

I therefore instruct the Government, together with the business sector, to begin the development of a quality new national project for the development of the agro-industrial complex for the next five-year period.

That being said, our main tasks in the Agri-sector shall be: self-sufficiency in socially significant food products; a steady increase in the income of millions of rural residents; increase in labour productivity by two and a half times; as well as an increase in exports of agricultural products by two times.

*  *  *

The development of the transport and logistics complex remains a pressing need.

The implementation of the first stage of the ‘Nurly Jol’ (‘Radiant Path’) Programme was successful. It enabled the connection of the capital of the country with the regions according to the “ray” principle.

A new infrastructure framework of the transport system has been formed. The country’s integration into global transport corridors has been ensured. And the historical status of Kazakhstan as a link between Asia and Europe has been restored.

However, the competition in this area is extremely high. Alternative projects have appeared in the Central Asian region that can reduce the transit potential of Kazakhstan.

Therefore, the second stage of “the ‘Nurly Jol’ (‘Radiant Path’) Programme should be aimed at consolidating the leading role of the transport and transit sector of our country.

The competitiveness of Kazakhstan should grow due to breakthrough infrastructure projects, attracting new countries and companies, increasing the level of service and the speed of transit routes.

The task is to reconstruct and provide with road services about 24 thousand kilometres of our roads by 2025, i.e. all national roads of our country.

* * *

SMEs are experiencing difficult times, in fact, taking the brunt of the pandemic.

To overcome the negative economic consequences, tax breaks were provided to more than 700 thousand of our entrepreneurs. Their payments are deferred. And they are given the opportunity to refinance their loans, on more favourable terms.

However, the situation is still difficult.

As additional aid to SMEs, I hereby instruct Government to provide state subsidies for interest rates of up to 6% per annum on all existing loans to SMEs in the affected sectors of our national economy.

The subsidy will cover the period of 12 months, starting from the moment of the announcement of the State of Emergency that is from March 16 of this year.

The National Bank is implementing a special working capital replenishment programme for SMEs in the most affected sectors. Previously it was assumed that it will complete its operations this year.

But in the current crisis conditions, I order an extension of this programme until the end of 2021, as well as an expansion of its coverage.

For these purposes, an additional KZT 200 Billion will be provided, bringing the total value of the programme to KZT 800 billion.

I also order a suspension  until the end of this year of the charging of rent for SMEs for real estate  owned by government agencies and the quasi-public sector.

In the current conditions, maintaining employment and incomes of the population shall be our absolute priority. Therefore, it is important for this time to reduce the burden on the wage fund for SMEs in the most affected industries.

For this category of business, I order the cancellation of deductions from wages to extra-budgetary funds for a period until the end of this year.

The next question is the business climate. This area needs reforms, since the regulatory system remains cumbersome, even punitive.

The basic principles of regulatory policy must be changed. The state regulation can only be justified by protecting the health of citizens and the environment.

Legislation and practice should fix the predominance of essence over form. Common sense and content must prevail over strict legal norms.

The three-year moratorium on inspections provides a good opportunity to introduce such regulation from  scratch.

We should start with the most corrupt spheres: architectural and construction activities, sanitary and epidemiological supervision, veterinary medicine, certification, and others.

I hereby order the development a new regulatory framework for SMEs within the next year.

I repeat: any illegal interference of state structures in entrepreneurial activities, as well as obstruction of the work of businessmen should be perceived as the gravest crime against the state.

In case of illegal pressure on them by officials, businessmen should feel free to contact the prosecutor’s office.

Support for entrepreneurship also means special attention to medium-sized businesses, which contain key components of market success.

Such companies should be focused not only on the domestic, but also on foreign markets. Their ability to export should be strengthened and supported.

I instruct the Government to launch an export acceleration programme aimed at medium-sized non-resource enterprises in order to provide targeted support from idea to result.

The main result of the work on the development of SMEs should be an increase by 2025 of its share of GDP to 35%, and the number of employees to 4 million people.

* * *

Reconfiguring cross-cutting government policies will be a critical success factor in our work.

A new approach to monetary policy needs to be taken.

We face a crisis of confidence in the Kazakhstani Tenge (KZT) from national and international investors.

The low level of economic diversification and high volatility of the exchange rate of KZT restrain the inflow of foreign investment, especially in non-resource sectors.

In that vein, the problems of regulating the foreign exchange market and capital movements also play a negative role. A significant part of export earnings does not even go to the domestic foreign exchange market, remaining abroad.

The Government and the National Bank should motivate exporters to sell foreign exchange earnings.

The stimulating role of monetary policy needs to be strengthened as well. Today, it is largely constrained by fears of an overflow of funds to the foreign exchange market.

Banks are in no hurry to lend to the real economy, since they have a good opportunity to earn money on the foreign exchange market and the instruments of the National Bank.

I therefore instruct you to take measures to reorient this liquidity towards lending to businesses and stop currency speculation.

The powers and functionality of the Agency for Regulation and Development of Financial Markets and the National Bank are quite enough to solve this problem.

I expect a significant improvement in the situation by the end of this year.

The imbalance between lending to the consumer segment and business also remains a negative factor in the financial sector. Rampant, sometimes irresponsible lending to consumers, which is fraught with serious social consequences, should be regulated by our relevant national norms and legislative-regulatory framework.

Lack of financial literacy of citizens should not be a reason for imposing credit products on them.

This year, in accordance with my instruction, the legislative and regulatory framework was changed, while the requirements for assessing the borrower’s solvency were significantly tightened. Microfinance organizations, pawnshops and other financial institutions that previously issued consumer loans uncontrollably, have come under governmental regulation.

But risks in this sector still remain. Especially in times of crisis and falling incomes of our population.

The Agency for Regulation and Development of Financial Markets and the National Bank need to take additional regulatory measures in terms of increasing the responsibility of credit institutions, as well as differentiating and lowering the marginal interest rates on loans.

We must increase confidence in monetary policy as well.

Therefore, it was decided to create a Monetary Policy Committee within the structure of the National Bank. It will include independent members in its composition.

Since we are talking about the importance of a fair redistribution of national income, then the similarly, a fair tax policy should be developed. This policy should be understandable to all citizens of our country.

Today, about 40 different taxes and fees are levied. At the same time, administration of these taxes is complicated and has a pronounced compulsory character.

I therefore instruct the Government, the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs of Kazakhstan “Atameken” (“Fatherland”), to revise, in cooperation with the MPs, the Tax Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan and by-laws.

Our overall goal is to radically simplify the fulfilment of tax obligations and minimize the number of taxes and payments.

We should also think about the differentiation of tax rates as an additional lever for diversifying the economy and replenishing the budget.

In the SME sector, I consider it possible to empower entrepreneurs, working in the sectors, most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, to pay retail sales tax.

International taxation rules also require our special attention. They should maximally stimulate the inflow of foreign investment and reinvestment of profits in Kazakhstan.

At the same time, reliable control over transfer pricing and capital withdrawal from the country is needed.

According to expert estimates, about a one third of the country’s GDP is in the shadow. This is a huge potential for increasing our budget revenues.

Digitalization of the tax and customs spheres will seriously help in the fight against the “shadow economy” in all its manifestations. Moreover, corruption is often fuelled by the shadow economy.

Therefore, I hereby order the reorientation of the activities of the Economic Investigation Service of the Ministry of Finance, mainly in the fight against the shadow economy.

We have to work out a new budgetary policy that is lean and responsible. We should finance only priority areas and projects. The period of monetary excesses has sunk into oblivion.

It is necessary to develop a set of key budget coefficients and rules.

To form a complete picture, it is necessary to introduce the so-called “extended budget”, which, in addition to the state budget, must take into account the finances of extra-budgetary funds.

The new budget planning system should support national priorities and become a subordinate part of the national planning system.

Government agencies should be given budgetary independence. This will enable quicker problems solving and reduce collective irresponsibility and red tape.

However, demand should also be tightened. To this end, I hereby order the strengthening of the functionality of the Accounts Committee for Control over Execution of the National Budget of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

In order to avoid a conflict of interest, the Accounts Committee for Control over Execution of the National Budget should be financed separately through the specialized committees of  Parliament, and not through the National Budget Commission under the Government.

Competition policy is becoming increasingly important as well.

It is necessary to seriously diversify the competitive field, create truly equal opportunities for every entrepreneur, and stop monopolizing markets.

It is no secret that many market niches are occupied by some monopolist business subjects in a way, which is far from free market ideals. Entrepreneurs cannot enter the market, and if they do manage to enter, they are forced to obey private monopolists.

Anti-competition behaviour persists everywhere: the market of coal, electricity, oil products, communications, pharmaceuticals, airport services, housing and communal services, logistics etc. (i.e.  the list goes on).

At the regional level, the administrative resource is often the main component of commercial success.

It is necessary to clean up the mess with the so-called “monopoly players”, both public and private. It is important to accept clear rules: in what cases and in what form they are created, where their profits are spent. Hence, strong public monitoring is needed.

We require putting in order of matters related to the stock exchange trading, in the fields of oil products, electricity, and coal.

Imitation of transparency on the part of large players is unacceptable.

Therefore, a strong and independent body for the protection and development of competition is needed. I am instructing the creation of  an Agency for the Protection and Development of Competition with direct reporting line to the President.

Denationalization of the economy plays an important role in the development of fair competition.

The central government agencies, akimats (local governments) and state holdings still own about seven thousand non-social facilities.

But the phrase that the state is not the best business executive is already becoming an axiom.

The Government must adopt a new privatization plan. Only social facilities should remain in state ownership, as should facilities that ensure the security and the  normal functioning of the state.

In the quasi-public sector, work must continue to reduce the number of administrative staff, unprofitable costs, and overstaffed subsidiaries.

I would like to emphasize the role of National Managing Holding ‘Baiterek’ (the mission of “Baiterek” NMH JSC is to support the sustainable economic development of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the sphere of industrialization in order to implement public policies and achieve goals set by the 2050 Strategy), and National Managing Holding ‘KazAgro’ (the holding’s mission is to promote sustainable economic growth in the agro-industrial complex of the Republic of Kazakhstan in order to implement public policy and achieve strategic goals in the agro-industrial complex).

These companies have made a significant contribution to the industrialization and development of the agro-industrial complex, and have regulated the activities of financial institutions, previously unconnected with each other.

And now we are in a completely new situation. Changing their institutional structure is a matter of time. Therefore, it is necessary to unite these two organizations and create one institution of development with greater financial potential.

At the same time, the number of portfolio companies should be halved, and the number of staff should be reduced by 50%.

It is necessary to actively promote the economic interests of our country in the international arena, to ensure a constructive attitude and professionalism in the protection of national interests.

For the benefit of Kazakhstan, it is necessary to utilize the most of the great potential of the Eurasian Economic Union and the “One Belt – One Road” project.

In the times of new global situation, attracting investment to the country and exporting domestic goods and services shall be a special priority for the Government.

The potential of the Astana International Financial Centre should be realised more effectively.

The financial centre should become the main tool for attracting direct and portfolio investment.

Summing up, we cannot please everyone with the abstract growth of GDP. The population needs permanent jobs, convenient roads, hospitals, and schools, as well as quality food.

Economic reforms will be justified and supported only if they increase the income of citizens and ensure a high standard of living. We must always keep this in mind.

III. BALANCED TERRITORIAL DEVELOPMENT

It is necessary to substantially restructure the approaches to the country’s territorial and spatial development.

Our regions differ in economic and industrial specialization, living standards, and quality of public services.

Therefore, territorial development should be built by taking into account the competitive advantages of different regions.

The industrial potential of the south and southeast of the country should be more actively developed.

Half of the state’s labour resources are concentrated here. Hence, high-quality jobs are critically important for the development of these regions.

In addition to the traditional support for the agricultural sector, the most serious attention should be paid to deep processing of agricultural products, the development of the food and textile industries, the production of building materials and other industrial sectors.

Industrialization is important not only for solving social issues and raising the level of income. It also forms a new mentality of citizens, and adapts them to the modern world. And this is one of the basic factors of our nation’s competitiveness.

A new vision of the development of regions, where large metallurgical enterprises operate, is required. This is, first of all, the East Kazakhstan, Qaraǵandy and Pavlodar regions.

These regions can become centres of high-tech, science-intensive industries and technical services.

The western regions of Kazakhstan should become a centre of attraction for investment in the construction of petrochemical complexes, as well as the creation of new production cycles of a high added value. The fact that we still do not have petrochemistry and gas processing of high added value – this, as they say, “does not fit into any gate” (i.e. is totally inappropriate).

It is especially important to provide a new lease of life (as they say, a “second wind” or a “second breath”) to our monotowns. Here a great responsibility is assigned to the city-forming enterprises. This task will not be completed without their active participation.

Almost 30 million people live in the border regions of Kazakhstan and Russia, and there are several million-plus cities. Close interaction with Russian authorities and organizations to promote Kazakhstani goods, as well as to attract investment is an especially important factor in the development of Kazakhstani borderlands.

The problem of full disclosure of the potential of our villages remains a strategically important topic. The implementation of the program “Aýyl – El Besigі” (“Village as the Birthplace/Cradle of the Nation”), aimed at solving the most acute problems in the countryside, rural areas, shall be continued.

A new approach to regional development will help manage the urbanization process, ensure the phasing out of “migration waves”, as well as to avoid overpopulation and social tension in large cities.

IV. SOCIAL WELL-BEING OF CITIZENS IS A TOP PRIORITY

The social well-being of citizens is inextricably linked, first of all, to the housing issue.

In market conditions, the affordability of housing for citizens is based on the availability of income and the ability to independently solve this problem.

In the framework of implementation of my instructions, the issue of utilization by our population of a part of their pension savings for solving hosing issues was elaborated further. Nowadays this topic has become pressing issue.

Already in 2021, 700 thousand contributors of the JSC “Unified Accumulative Pension Fund” of the Republic of Kazakhstan (UAPF) will be able to utilize part of their savings for the purchase of housing, medical treatment or for transferring them to the management of financial companies.

I instruct the Government, together with the National Bank, to adopt all the necessary regulations and carry out preparatory work by the end of this year.

This reform will also become an effective tool for “whitewashing” labour relations, as well as for creating incentives for participation in the pension system.

Effective social support will be provided to our citizens with insufficient income to resolve housing issues independently.

This year the state programme “5-10-25” began to work. KZT 390 Billion tenge were allocated to this end. The implementation of this programme must be constantly monitored by the Government.

Housing problems of our citizens on the waiting list need to be resolved more quickly.

Now the akimats (local governments) independently build rental housing for them. Due to budgetary and procurement procedures, this takes a long time.

The time has come to make changes to this scheme. Funds should be directed not only to construction, but also to subsidize rent. In the first year, the coverage of this measure will increase 10 times, while more than one hundred thousand families will receive specific assistance.

I instructed “Otbasy Bank” (“Family Bank”), which is being created on the basis of the former “ZhilStroySberBank”, to streamline this work. The bank’s management is personally responsible for this issue.

The “Nurly Zher” (“Radiant Land”) programme is being implemented slowly in terms of the construction of individual housing.

This is mainly due to the low rates of development of territories, since, according to our legislation, land can be provided only if there is water and electricity supply.

A house on land is not only housing; it can become an economic aid for low-income citizens, especially for large families.

The Government and akimats (local governments) are obliged to accelerate the provision of communications for plots for social private houses, including through public-private partnerships.

I ask the MPs to take the resolution of this important problem “under their wing” (under their control). Can’t we provide affordable housing for rural workers, by forcing employers to build rental houses through subsidizing costs and, ultimately, improve the quality of life of our many fellow citizens?

* * *

The family and demographic situation is a matter of  serious concern as well.

Unfortunately, every sixth family in Kazakhstan cannot have children. Opinion polls show that about 20% of Kazakhstanis consider this a weighty reason (convincing argument) for divorce.

The United Nations forecast for the growth of Kazakhstani population, compared to our Central Asian neighbours, are disappointing.

I therefore instruct the Government to launch in 2021 a Special Programme “Ańsaǵan Sábi” (“Much-Desired Child”). It is necessary to increase the number of quotas for extra-corporal fertilization IVF programmes to 7 thousand, that is, 7 times.

Special attention should be paid to issues of safety and protection of children’s rights.

We have significantly increased the criminal liability for acts of a sexual nature against minors. But the problem remains acute.

Such criminals deserve more severe punishment, without the right to pardon (amnesty) and early release. They should be kept in facilities of maximum security.

Each such case should be under the special control of the Prosecutor’s Office. Inaction or negligence on the part of social and law enforcement agencies will be severely punished.

In general, we need a new paradigm of social policy.

The sphere of social security is regulated by 17 laws and dozens of bylaws of the Republic of Kazakhstan. This has led to the complexity and fragmentation of regulation. The result is a blurring of the responsibility of the state, as well as a lack of understanding by citizens of their own rights.

I therefore instruct the Government to start developing the Social Code of our country.

Measures should be taken to digitize social payments. To this end, it is necessary to introduce a digital “social wallet” of a citizen, as well as to create an appropriate distribution system of goods.

Our society will have to change the perception of labour values, teach the young generation to value work, and not to divide labour into prestigious and non-prestigious.

Unfortunately, young people want to get rich instantly. Hence their craze for lotteries, as well as betting in bookmakers. And also, unfortunately, inappropriate anecdotes about guest workers, a derogatory attitude towards their work have become popular in everyday life.

During these troubling months, we saw first-hand the enduring importance of each and every labourer.

A huge front of work has been done by our junior medical personnel, public utilities and service workers. This is a real labour feat. The people, who performed it, will not be left without the attention of the state.

V. QUALITY EDUCATION FOR ALL

As a result of the coronavirus epidemic, the vast majority of schoolchildren and students around the world have moved to distance learning. This is radically changing the way work is done and the content of work.

We are well aware of the mistakes, made by our Government in the organizational arrangements for distance learning.

Frankly, there is still no specific online platform for distance learning in our country. Hence, teachers, students and parents will not give up WhatsApp application all day and night.

There is an urgent need to develop a single online educational platform in our country, with all the necessary functions for a full-fledged learning process.

However, in order to receive quality education, it is important to attend classes and interact with teachers and classmates as usual. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a procedure for the transition to the traditional way of education, in compliance with sanitary requirements. This is especially important for schools.

In addition to solving everyday problems, it is necessary to take systematic measures to create equal opportunities for all children. Our children need quality education, no matter where they live or in what language they take education.

One of the main problems in the field of education is the low salaries of teachers.

I have decided to increase teachers’ salaries by 25% from January 2021. And wages will continue to rise in the years to come.

An additional amount of KZT 1.2 Trillion will be allocated for this purpose over the next three years.

We need to solve the problem of the comprehensive development of the child before entering school. I set a task to ensure 100% coverage of children under 6 years of age with pre-school education and training by 2025.

Building public kindergartens only will not solve this problem. We need to attract private businesses, as well as to find new forms of support, including a voucher financing mechanism. Parents can choose any kindergarten or school and pay with a voucher, given by the state authorities.

Experts reasonably argue that state support for only gifted schoolchildren can increase the social distance between children. It is unacceptable.

In this regard, the state authorities will support the so-called “ordinary” schools. It will also help to bridge the gap in education between urban and rural areas.

In order to increase the level of literacy of our citizens, as well as their digital knowledge, I instruct the Government to develop a Concept of Ongoing (Continuous, Permanent, Recurrent, Life-Long) Education. This document should provide for the active introduction of alternative options for non-formal education, recognition of the results of independent learning, as well as certification of professional skills.

We must also reorient the entire vocational education system towards the formation of competencies in demand on the labour market.

The stake will be placed on preparing a new wave of entrepreneurs. Therefore, the subject “Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship” should be studied at all levels of education – from schools to universities.

It is necessary to pay the most serious attention to the sports and creative potential of the younger generation.

In conditions of a shortage of financial resources, it makes no sense to support professional sports clubs entirely at the state expense. Yet, Billions of KZT from the state budget and quasi-state companies are spent inefficiently.

Priority should be given to mass sports, physical education and, of course, children. In each region, inter alia, in large district centres, sports sections should be opened.

It is required to resume the activity of children’s study groups (clubs, “circlets”), where representatives of the young generation could comprehend the basics of creativity and handicraft.

Modern realities are so dangerous for children that their energy and curiosity need to be directed in the right direction. After all, children are the future of our state.

We will evaluate the work of akims (governors) by this criterion.

A few words about the quality of higher education re in order. Last year, I ordered the closure of educational institutions involved in “printing” diplomas.

This job is difficult because of the resistance of influencers involved in the lucrative educational business. But the problem needs to be solved. The Prime Minister must take this issue under special control.

I also want to talk about the development of science.

We need a new approach  this issue and new methods, while relying on international experience.

I instruct the Government to provide internships for 500 scientists in the world’s leading research centres on an annual basis, as well as to allocate 1,000 grants for research under the “Young Scientist” Project.

An important source of funding and support for science is the funds of large enterprises, especially companies in the field of raw materials.

The requirements of the current regulations on the transfer of 1% of income to the development of science and technology are not met. In most cases, these funds are distributed among companies.

I instruct the Government to centralize the accumulation of these funds and ensure that they are allocated through the budget in accordance with national scientific priorities.

It would be great if big business representatives would take care of the research activities of regional universities.

We need a special policy document for the scientific and technological development of the country. Its main task will be to use the potential of science to solve specific problems at the national level.

VI. DEVELOPMENT OF HEALTHCARE SYSTEM

The pandemic crisis taught us a lot. For example, to appreciate the work of a doctor. But medical workers before were on the periphery of state attention.

Of course, the importance of the medical profession must also be supported financially.

I order the allocation of KZT 150 Billion for the payment of incentive bonuses to medical workers for the second half of this year, when our budget is revised next.

We are doing this now, during the crisis. But we must do this on a systematic basis.

By 2023, the salaries of doctors will be twice higher over the average salary within our national economy.

The issue of medications supply has been resolved, but the domestic pharmaceutical industry needs to be rebuilt. All basic medicines and medical devices must be manufactured in Kazakhstan. This is a matter of national security.

I expect real results in this direction from next year.

Another issue is the development of medical infrastructure.

By the end of this year, 13 new hospitals for infectious diseases will be built in the regions of our country.

By 2025, 20 modern multi-disciplinary healthcare facilities will be commissioned. This means that about KZT 1.5 Trillion will be invested for this purpose.

At the initiative of the Leader of our Nation (Elbasy), two multi-disciplinary medical centres will be built in Nur-Sultan and Almaty. These centres will become the leading institutions of the country, and give a new impetus to innovative growth and development of applied medicine.

The Government will have to radically reconsider approaches to the organization of primary healthcare.

The primary healthcare should become more mobile and accessible to a wide-range of populations, including villagers.

Measures should be taken to revive transport of medicines to remote regions.

To create effective rural healthcare within three years, we need to provide all rural settlements with feldsher-obstetric stations and medical outpatient clinics.

The pandemic has sharply raised the issue of training doctors of rare specialties: epidemiologists, infectious disease specialists, resuscitators, pulmonologists, and cardiologists.

I therefore instruct the Government to draw up a long-term (maybe ten-year) forecast of staffing medical institutions.

Measures for the further development of the national healthcare system will make it possible to fully equip all medical organizations with the necessary equipment, renew the bed fund by 50%, replace outdated infrastructure, and bring the life expectancy in our country to 75 years.

VII. PROTECTION OF ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

Environmental protection and ecological development come to the fore on the Kazakhstani agenda.

The whole civilized world is dealing with this issue, and we should not stay away from the main trend.

A new draft Environmental Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan has been developed to solve a number of systemic problems. I ask the Parliament to consider and adopt this important document by the end of this year.

I instruct the Government to start implementing practical measures to improve the environmental situation. Long-term plans for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity should be approved.

Over the next five years, more than 2 billion trees will be planted in the forest fund, and 15 million – in settlements. This action will lead to a large-scale greening of our country. There is an acute issue of building-up the green belt around our capital.

Legislatively and normatively, it is necessary to protect national parks and other natural resources of Kazakhstan, as well as to toughen the criminal and administrative prosecution of citizens, who commit offenses in this area.

It is necessary to pay due attention to the ecological-environmental education of the younger generation in schools and universities. The Environmental Campaign “Birge – Taza Qazaqstan” (“Let us make Kazakhstan cleaner together”), designed to strengthen environmental values ​​in our society, should be carried out on a systematic basis.

An important task is the active development of a culture of eco-tourism within our country.

In the mid-term, economic growth should become increasingly green. Therefore, the foundation for deep decarbonisation should be laid now.

I instruct the Government, in cooperation with the scientific community and the private sector, to develop a package of proposals for “green growth.”

The Government, together with the civil sector, will also have to develop a draft Law (bill) “On the Protection of Animals”. The attitude to animals is a measure of the civilization of any state, and we are far from all right with that.

VIII. A JUST STATE SHALL PROTECT THE INTERESTS OF ITS CITIZENS

Without the rule of law and without ensuring security of our citizens, no task of socio-economic development of Kazakhstan will be successful.

“A state that listens to the voice of its people” (the Concept of the “Listening State”) is, in fact, the Concept of Creating a “Just State”).

It is not enough to just listen and see the problems of citizens. The main thing is to make the right and fair decisions.

We need to work hard to develop new state standards that serve the interests of citizens. In this context, the law enforcement and judicial systems have a key role to play. This area is in dire need of reform.

Reality is changing rapidly. The more security forces rely on best practices, the more likely they are to fit into the context of international practice.

The current situation in the country imposes new requirements on law enforcement agencies, which must meet the demands of citizens.

However, due to the inertia of the past, an accusatory bias still prevails in the work of the law enforcement system. There are frequent cases when citizens are unjustifiably involved in the orbit of criminal prosecution.

Operational officers, who detect crimes and investigators, and those officers, who make procedural decisions, work under the same superiors. For their supervisors, the main task is to solve the crime and send the case to court. But the rights and freedoms of citizens should not suffer for the sake of indicators.

As for the prosecutor’s supervision, it is belated. Prosecutors get acquainted with the circumstances of the case only before this case being sent to court.

The criminal sphere should be modernized, following the example of the developed OECD countries. We need a model that ensures timely protection of citizens’ rights and meets high international standards. I consider it necessary to introduce in Kazakhstan a three-tier model with a clear division of powers.

The police must detect crimes, identify those involved, as well as to collect and consolidate evidence.

The prosecutor is obliged to give an independent assessment of the collected evidence, to suppress violations of the rights of citizens, to prevent the involvement of conscientious citizens in the criminal process, as well as to support the prosecution in court.

The court shall consider complaints against the actions of the authorities, and issue a final verdict on the case.

This approach will strengthen the system of checks and balances, and create effective filters at every stage.

I emphasize once again: legality and fairness must be ensured by default. It must be remembered that the fate of people depends on mistakes in criminal cases.

In criminal cases, starting from 2021, the prosecutor should be legally charged with agreeing on key procedural decisions affecting human rights and freedoms.

It is important to ensure the stability of criminal legislation, as well as criminal-procedural legislation.

Their frequent adjustments have a negative effect on law enforcement, and do not allow for the development of a uniform investigative and judicial practice.

Decisions regarding the application of legislation are often made without proper analysis and forecasting, based on the convenience of law enforcement officers. Therefore, it is necessary to develop new concepts of “administrative” and “criminal” offenses. Hence, the logic of establishing punishment for offenses will become clearer to society and the legal community.

Throughout the progressive world, the police institute is developing on the basis of a service model. We also announced the transition to such a model, but so far, the work has led only to fragmentary results.

A more holistic reform of the local police service on the principle of “walking-distance police” is ripe, where the key role is assigned to the local police inspector (district inspector).

It is necessary to legislatively raise the status of the district inspector, as well as to provide him/her with all the opportunities for productive work. The district inspector must be recognizable, accessible, and authoritative for citizens, and actively defend their rights.

It is important to teach law enforcement officers to conduct an open dialogue with people. This direction should become a priority in the system of training and selection of police personnel.

Much is said about the development of video surveillance systems, but at the same time, the premises of the law enforcement agencies themselves often remain “blind” zones.

I therefore order the introduction of continuous video surveillance in penitentiary institutions, as well as in police offices.

The structure of the Ministry of Internal Affairs needs to be revised, freeing it from non-core functions. This will increase the efficacy and efficiency of this important governmental agency.

Considering that we have entered the era of natural and man-made disasters, I believe it is necessary to recreate the Ministry of Emergencies.

There are also problems in crime prevention work. It is necessary to reorient the supervision of the Prosecutor’s Office to effectively address the problems faced by citizens and businesses.

It so happened in our country that as soon as a respectable investor appears on the horizon, law enforcement and regulatory authorities immediately run to check him.

The Government and the Parliament will have to legislatively protect business from excessive interference by law enforcement agencies.

The current thresholds for bringing businesses to criminal liability for tax violations require revision.

Any investigative actions against registered entrepreneurs can be carried out only with the approval of a court or prosecutor. This option should also be considered.

An important criterion for the rule of law is impartial and fair justice.

The court must be adversarial, and the judge must be free from the pressure of prosecution bodies. To this end, it is necessary to ensure the equality of the advocate (attorney, lawyer) and the prosecutor.

Building public confidence in the courts should be our priority. Its achievement is possible only through joint efforts of the state and the judiciary itself.

The judicial system cannot be a closed corporation. The High Council of the Judiciary and the Supreme Court should intensify efforts to recruit new professionals to administer justice.

The judicial system needs specialists in the field of taxation, subsoil use, intellectual property, and corporate law.

The selection of judges should be accompanied by media, coverage so that the public knows for what merits one or another candidate was hired.

It is also necessary to develop alternative ways of resolving disputes, which will make it possible to find compromises without the participation of the state. Such institutions have shown themselves well in developed countries.

Almost ten years ago we adopted the Law “On Mediation”. But to date, not a single state body is engaged in its development, and there is no intelligible state policy on the ground.

This state of affairs should be corrected.

A representative Commission for the reform of the law enforcement and judicial system is being created under the Presidential Administration.

The fight against corruption is becoming more systematic. More attention is being paid to the causes of corruption, and preventive work is being done.

Now it is necessary to conduct a special analysis of governmental agencies and quasi-public sector regulations for work processes in terms of combating corruption. This is important to identify the factors that lead to corruption.

At the same time, the fight against corruption should not deprive the qualities of independence, initiative, and efficiency of our officials, who are afraid of being prosecuted.

We need to create an appropriate legal framework, supporting the institution of control from society (social partners) as an alternative to state control.

I therefore order the development and adoption of a Law “On Control from Society (Social Partners)” which will allow to ensure transparency and accountability of governmental agencies, as well as the quasi-public sector to the society.

The role of councils of social partners should be increased. It is necessary to involve them in the work of the commissions organizing the procurement. It is also necessary to consider the possibility of establishing councils of social partners in the quasi-public sector. The relevant bill shall be considered by the Parliament and adopted by the end of this year.

In addition, it is necessary to involve representatives of various social groups in the composition of councils of social partners. For example, we need to make it possible for people with disabilities to participate in the work of such councils of social partners, and make their voices heard.

These various social groups should always be in the focus of the state’s attention.

It is especially important to create a single information resource to make to the information on the financial and economic activities of quasi-government agencies, on the use of budget funds as well as other valuable data, available to our citizens,  our society.

Transparency of information on government decisions will contribute to a constructive dialogue with civil society.

The draft Law (bill) “On Access to Information” should be desirably adopted by the end of this parliamentary session.

I also think that it is necessary to introduce new methods of combating corruption.

From 2021, it is necessary to introduce new restrictions within the fight against corruption in relation to the storage of cash and valuables by civil servants, MPs, and judges in foreign banks.

In case of detection of dual citizenship of a public servant (civil servant) or the head of a quasi-public institution, they shall be dismissed.

It is necessary to amend the Criminal Code in terms of toughening penalties for corruption of law enforcement officers, judges, bribe-givers, and supporters of corruption.

Conditional early release from punishment will not be applied to those, who have committed corruption-related crimes.

The principle of a lifetime-ban on corruption detainees from working in the public service (civil service) and the quasi-public sector must be strictly adhered to.

We need to create a system of legal protection for those, who report corruption.

It is also critical to take new measures to protect human rights.

This problem is a priority for me.

Like the rest of the world, Kazakhstan is also faced with the vulnerability of citizens from bullying on the Internet. First of all, children suffer from this. They are especially sensitive to cyber-bullying, which, unfortunately, has dire consequences.

It is time to take legislative action to protect citizens, especially children, from cyber-bullying. Other measures to protect children’s rights need to be strengthened, in particular to accede to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communications Procedure.

The issue of improving national legislation to combat torture remains relevant as well.

This document, which criminalizes torture, needs to be harmonized with the provisions of the International Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman Acts.

The fight against human trafficking is also on our agenda. Here Kazakhstan does not look good in the eyes of the international community.

Our law enforcement agencies will have to improve the procedures for investigating such crimes. They must be severely punished by the courts.

This important task requires coordinated action of governmental agencies.

I hope for the speedy adoption of the relevant laws in the Parliament.

The fight against human trafficking is also on our agenda. Here Kazakhstan does not look good in the eyes of the international community.

Our law enforcement agencies will have to improve the procedures for investigating such crimes. They must be severely punished by the courts.

This important task requires coordinated action of governmental agencies.

I hope for the speedy adoption of the relevant laws in the Parliament.

IX. DIGITALIZATION AS THE BASIC ELEMENT OF ALL REFORMS

Digitalization is not a fashion trend, but a key instrument for ensuring our national competitiveness.

First of all, it is necessary to eliminate the digital divide, ensure maximum access to the Internet and high-quality communication for all our citizens.

Today it has become a basic need, similar to roads and electricity.

Children from socially vulnerable families should be provided with computers and high-quality Internet. By the end of this year, each village with a population of over 250 people will have access to the Internet.

We do see what problems people face when assigning pensions and social benefits. They need to collect a heap of papers, walking back and forth (one long ordeal).

These processes need to be fully digitized. Data should “run”, not people.

We must strive to abandon the use of paper in inter-agency interaction and when communicating with citizens.

I hereby order the cancelation of the “most popular” certificates and paper confirmations by the end of this year, as well as the provision of digital confirmation of information.

There is already a good practice for address, property, and other similar certificates.

Identity cards, diplomas and licenses must be accepted by governmental agencies in electronic form (soft copies).

To simplify the interaction of the population with electronic services, biometrics should be widely used at the level of public services and in private business.

Working with “data” must reach a new level. Providing a unified database system, as well as their further development is one of the main tasks of our Government.

So far, this work has not been properly structured, due to the dominance in the IT industry of a number of state-owned and affiliated companies.

Ministries and akimats (local governments) also have information and analytical or IT structures that protect only narrow departmental interests at the expense of the overall strategy.

The development of the IT market, engineering and other high-tech services is not only the creation of added value and jobs within the country, as more opportunities appear for the export of such services abroad. It is important to unleash this potential.

We see the interaction between the IT industry and the national business as a promising area.

Large state and private companies of Kazakhstan spend tens of billions of KZT on the applications elaborated abroad by foreign actors.

Our Government therefore should establish mutually beneficial cooperation between industry and the IT sector. This will create digital technology platforms that can drive the digital ecosystem of every industry.

We have passed laws, allowing Kazakhstan to become one of the international hubs for processing and storing “data”. Last year alone, more than KZT 80 Billion of investment was attracted to digital mining. But we cannot stop there. We should attract the world’s digital giants to our country. Otherwise, other states will do that.

Within the next five years, it is necessary to bring the value of investment in this industry up to KZT 500 Billion.

Х. PARTICIPATION OF CITIZENS IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION

We have started to create a “state that listens to the voice of the people” (“Listening State”). As I said before, this does not mean that governmental agencies should be responsible only for the daily problems of citizens. This is, first of all, a constant dialogue between the government and society.

The National Council of Public Trust has given a new impetus to the development of civil dialogue and social cohesion. The Council has fulfilled its mission of establishing a process of national dialogue in the country. As a result, a series of political reforms is being implemented.

In particular, a completely new law “On the Organization and Conduct of Peaceful Assemblies” was adopted, while the laws “On Political Parties”, “On Elections”, “On the Status of the Parliament and its Deputies” were amended.

Amendments were also made to remove Article 130 of the Criminal Code from the category of crimes and to humanize its Article 174.

I thank the Parliament for the quality and speed of work.

This is just the beginning of our political reforms. Modernization of the political sphere will continue. Almost all institutions of the state need to be reformed.

The main purpose of modernization is to increase the efficiency of the state system as a whole.

If we really want to improve the well-being of our citizens, we must actively involve them in this work. All future political reforms should be aimed at greater involvement of the population in public administration.

For example, opinion polls show an increase in the demand for rural mayors to run for office.

This important step should be carefully considered and implemented consistently. We need to know exactly how such a system works.

However, the solution to this problem should not be postponed.

The term of office of akims (heads) of a number of rural districts will end next year. I think it is possible to hold direct elections of village akims (heads).

In addition to being elected by local authorities, we need to define the division of powers between levels of government and local self-government.

One of the most important issues is the development of a model of budgetary financing of the regions.

At the same time, in addition to the relationship between “centre and region”, special attention should be paid to the distribution of funds within the region.

It is necessary to strengthen control over the approval of local budgets. This is due to the fact that the allocated funds are often not spent on the real needs of the population.

Our citizens are dissatisfied with the fact that only one or two streets are repaired every year on local level, and, additionally, with the inefficient spending on image activities. This is quite appropriate dissatisfaction.

Public expertise should be conducted to allocate funds from the budgets of districts and settlements for infrastructure and social initiatives. In this case, it is recommended to conduct an online survey.

It is necessary to strengthen the financial capabilities of local governments. To this end, it is necessary to expand property rights and increase the revenues of the budgets of rural districts.

This should be the next stage in the development of “budgets with public participation”.

By December 1 of this year, the Government will develop a regulatory framework and mechanisms for solving this important problem.

Maslikhats, our local representative bodies, are called upon to monitor the optimal use of local resources. But their opinions are often ignored. This is already a political anachronism.

I believe it is possible to endow maslikhats with the function of collecting signatures and drawing-up petitions on the development of the region or local problems that have not been solved for decades.

It is also necessary to strengthen the auditing commissions of maslikhats. I instruct the Government and the Accounts Committee for Control over Execution of the National Budget of the Republic of Kazakhstan to prepare a package of relevant amendments to the legislation.

It is necessary to introduce mandatory online broadcasts of the meetings of maslikhats. Discussions of people’s representatives, as well as their socio-political appearance should not be a secret for society.

It is proposed to gradually differentiate the powers of local government bodies and local self-government bodies.

It is necessary to improve the status of local self-government bodies – gatherings and meetings. Their opinion on topical problems on the ground should be taken into account by regional maslikhats for making specific decisions.

We should dwell separately on the issue of self-government in cities.

A reform was launched to introduce the institution of associations of property owners. A corresponding law has been adopted. All the apartment complexes will gradually switch to this form of management.

The reform is designed to take into account the views of residents on property management, as well as to raise accountability in spending funds on maintenance and repairs.

The government and akims (governors) must ensure that this important reform is implemented. After all, associations of property owners are, in fact, basic elements of the institution of self-organization and self-government.

The time has come to develop a new Concept for the development of local self-government. Parliament on its basis will adopt a package of relevant laws.

It must be admitted that formality and lack of efficiency are still widely present in the work of governmental agencies. Citizens are forced to demand the solution of their local problems from the central government, as well as to file complaints and submit them to the Head of State.

Therefore, it is time to delegate more authority and responsibility to local leaders.

Problems that cannot be solved locally, are made known all over the country through social media.

It is necessary to create a single legitimate institution of online petitions for citizens to initiate reforms and proposals. Such a mechanism must be completely protected from any manipulation.

The government, in collaboration with civil society, will have to develop a regulatory framework and resolve all technical issues related to this important project.

Political parties will continue to play an important role in protecting the interests of our citizens.

The ‘Nur Otan’ (‘Radiant Fatherland’) party has proved through its actions that it is a leading political force in our society. The party will take an active part in the implementation of future reforms and utilize its full potential.

At the same time, as the Head of State, I am obliged to make efforts to develop a truly multi-party system.

We are not standing still. We are gradually adapting our political system to the new situation and develop it. Our society needs political reforms, so they will definitely continue.

The main enemies of democracy are ignorance and populism. That fact must be taken into account.

I hope that our citizens will support the reforms. I hope that they will not allow the rise of hype in society due to new political opportunities.

The successful implementation of all these reforms and changes depends on the unity, patriotism, and civic responsibility of all of us.

XI. THE NEW LIFE AND NEW BEING OF THE NATION

The current task is to form a new identity of our people, to improve the quality of the whole nation.

Life itself shows the need to modernize people and society.

Only a renewed nation can show the world the success of a revived country.

I want our people to have more exemplary qualities the world could take as an example.

For our nation to move to a new quality, our daily life principles must change.

New principles and new directions should be solemnly established in the Kazakh society.

The great teacher of our nation, Ahmet Baitursynuly, has said once: “It is necessary to study to be educated. It is necessary to have a profession to get rich. It is necessary to achieve unity to be strong. We need to work to implement these needs. “

This approach is particularly important today.

First of all, the generation of the twenty-first century should be deeply educated.

Secondly, it is necessary to adapt the younger generation to work hard.

Thirdly, nowadays any work should be done with professional skills.

Fourthly, we must all have an iron discipline and a high-level of responsibility.

Fifthly, we must not deviate from justice. Justice is an important condition for the development of our society. Justice is an important quality, especially for deciding the fate of the people.

Sixthly, we need honesty, accuracy, and thoroughness. We all want to see entire Kazakh society really developing in such a way. Only then can we build a competitive state, an intellectual nation.

The task of the Kazakh intelligentsia at a new stage is to establish new principles of our nation, as well as to contribute to improving its best qualities.

A modern society must gradually get rid of bad habits.

Extravagance and luxury tarnish the image of both society and people. Irresponsibility and negligence afflict the whole country. And empty vocabulary and arrogance hinder the development of society. As the great Abai openly said about this: “One only paints the face of truth with false pride”. This issue is relevant even today.

We should instil in the minds of every citizen the great concept of work that leads to high ideals.

In our country, the system entitled “Responsible State – Responsible Society – Responsible Person” must be established firmly.

* * *

Dear compatriots,

We have large-scale and complex tasks ahead of us. Their successful implementation requires a new approach, innovative thinking, nation-wide solidarity and accord, and mutual support.

Our strategic direction is clear. We are well aware of our problems and shortcomings.

Today I presented to the Kazakhstani society the Plan of Action to be taken in the current crisis conditions. Its successful implementation depends on each of us.

We all need to make every effort to develop ourselves. The challenges of the contemporary times demand from us constant movement and activity, strong efforts and hard work.

Therefore, the happy and bright future of our country will depend on the hard work of every citizen.

Every generation is predetermined to meet different challenges.

In our own history, we have always smoothly addressed life’s challenges. Our nation can solve even the most difficult tasks. We are ready for that.

We are a generation that has achieved the centuries-old dream of our people on the path to independence.

Next year will mark the 30th Anniversary of our independence. This jubilee is an especially important milestone for our sovereign country. This will be the beginning of a new historical period.

We have a great responsibility for the future of our state.

When our unity, solidarity and accord are strong, we will overcome all difficulties and achieve our goals.

We can do it.

I am convinced of that.

May our country always be safe.

I thank you all.

 

 

KAZAKHSTAN CONTINUES ITS STRONG COURSE TOWARDS NUCLEAR-WEAPON-FREE WORLD, 29TH AUGUST 2020

KAZAKHSTAN CONTINUES ITS STRONG COURSE

TOWARDS NUCLEAR-WEAPON-FREE WORLD

August 29 is the International Day Against Nuclear Tests, and is commemorated globally on annual basis in accordance with the UN General Assembly Resolution 64/35 of 2009, tabled by Kazakhstan.

With the upcoming commemoration in mind, His Excellency Ambassador Kanat Tumysh of Kazakhstan to the Republic of South Africa met with Dr. Messaoud Baaliouamer, Executive Secretary of the African Commission on Nuclear Energy (AFCONE) to discuss the conclusion of  a Memorandum of Understanding between the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (AfNWFZ) and the Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia (CANWFZ), as well as the organizational arrangements for an upcoming international online seminar with the theme, “BENEFITS FROM INTER-REGIONAL DIALOGUE ON NUCLEAR GOVERNANCE: AFRICA AND CENTRAL ASIA, to be held in October-November 2020.

Speaking about the nuclear tests in the East Kazakhstan Region, Ambassador Kanat Tumysh said, they started in 1949 and marked the beginning of the most tragic times in the history of Kazakhstan. More than 1 million people suffered in the territory of 300,000 square kilometres, which is equal to the territory of Italy.

In 1991, on 29 August, H.E. Mr Nursultan Nazarbayev, the first President of Kazakhstan, Leader of the Nation, made a historic decision, closing by decree the world’s second largest Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site.

Other countries followed Kazakhstan’s progressive lead and eventually ceased the conduct of nuclear tests globally, and paved the way for the adoption of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1996. Because of the enormous efforts exerted by Kazakhstan’s first President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan has rapidly gone from being a possessor of the fourth largest nuclear arsenal in the world to the being widely recognized as the leading country in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

Under His Excellency’s leadership, from the day of Independence, Kazakhstan has striven tirelessly to achieve the goal of a nuclear-free world and thereby turning it into the main task of humanity in the 21st century. Guided by the noble aspiration of a nuclear-free future, Kazakhstan’s leader initiated the adoption of the Universal Declaration on the Achievement of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World by the UN General Assembly in 2015.

Due to the country’s strong efforts, the UNGA adopted this Declaration in December 2015 along with its Resolution 70/57. In the current complex global geo-political environment, the relevance of the Universal Declaration is growing, and the universal principles and obligations on nuclear disarmament enshrined in this important document, should build bridges between different views on the construction of a safer world.

In 2016, at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, Mr. Nazarbayev presented his conceptual anti-war vision Manifesto entitled “The World: The 21st Century.” The main idea of this treatise was “In no modern warfare will there be winners – every party will lose.” Kazakhstan, therefore, urges all members of the international community to strive towards a world completely free from nuclear weapons.

Kazakhstan believes it is time to put an end to military block thinking and adapt the disarmament process to new realities by utilizing appropriate confidence-building measures. It proposes the redoubling of the international community’s efforts by consolidating the potential of nuclear-weapon-free zones in nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Therefore, through the initiative of the First President of Kazakhstan, the city of Nur-Sultan hosted a Joint Meeting of the Representatives of nuclear-weapon-free zones on the 28th to 29th of August,2019.

         As Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev noted, putting forward the idea of the creation of nuclear-weapon-free zones is one of the most effective means to fight the spread of nuclear weapons.

On 26 August 2020 H.E. Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev, the First President of Kazakhstan, the Leader of the Nation (Elbasy)  received the status of champion for a world free of nuclear tests to highlight Kazakhstan’s historic contribution to the global efforts toward a world free of nuclear weapons.

Nowadays, especially in recent years, many countries are alarmed by the increasing tensions and potential for conflict all over the globe. The growing disagreement between the major powers intensifies the instability of the current world order, making it less predictable. Financial and trade and economic disagreements are degenerating into political and potentially military conflict. The effectiveness of global development institutions is declining. There is no reassuring news from the Middle East. Apart from that, conflicts on the African continent, unfortunately, continue as well, according to His Excellency Ambassador Kanat Tumysh.

World leaders thus need to think seriously about how to leave a safe, peaceful, and prosperous lanet to the next generations. To this end, Kazakhstan continues to work actively to strengthen global peace and security, achieve SDGs; ensure prosperity of all nations without exception; rid the world of wars and violence; and maintain adherence to the principles of international rule of law.

Kazakhstan continues to participate actively in all global anti-war efforts and thus provided its strong support to Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General’s initiative on a new comprehensive disarmament agenda.

Yet, proliferation of nuclear weapons poses an existential threat to humanity, since today hundreds of the 15,000 nuclear bombs stored around the world could be ready to be launched within minutes. This could lead to a global disaster where entire cities all over the world disappeared.

 

ENGAGEMENT WITH THE AFRICAN COMMISSION ON NUCLEAR ENERGY: CENTRAL ASIA AND AFRICA WILL BENEFIT FROM INTER-REGIONAL DIALOGUE ON NUCLEAR ENERGY GOVERNANCE

ENGAGEMENT WITH THE AFRICAN COMMISSION ON NUCLEAR ENERGY:

CENTRAL ASIA AND AFRICA WILL BENEFIT FROM INTER-REGIONAL DIALOGUE ON NUCLEAR ENERGY GOVERNANCE

BY SUSAN NOVELA 29 AUGUST 2020

 Dr. Messaoud Baaliouamer, Executive Secretary of the African Commission on Nuclear Energy (AFCONE) & His Excellency Ambassador Kanat Tumysh of Kazakhstan to the Republic of South Africa 

In a special interview with Dr Messaoud Baaliouamer, Executive Secretary of the African Commission on Nuclear Energy (AFCONE), dedicated to the 29th of August – the International Day against Nuclear Tests, the high-ranked African diplomat commended H.E. Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev, First President of Kazakhstan and Leader of the Nation, for the initiative seeking to establish dialogue among nuclear-weapon-free zones (NWFZs). He also praised the role and contribution of Kazakhstan in the promotion of nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation of WMD, and a world free of nuclear weapons.

During conversation Dr Baaliouamer talked about scheduled joint activities to be organized by AFCONE Secretariat, Government of Kazakhstan, International Science and Technological Centre (ISTC) and other stakeholders in this sphere in September – November 2020.

The first event – an online webinar entitled “Virtual Meeting on Uranium Resources in Africa: Exploration, Exploitation and Cooperation Opportunities” with the participation of representatives of ISTC, AFCONE and the African Union, is expected to be held on September 8th, 2020.

And preliminarily in October-November 2020, the second event – an international online seminar on the theme – “BENEFITS FROM INTERREGIONAL DIALOGUE ON NUCLEAR GOVERNANCE: AFRICA AND CENTRAL ASIA” is planned to be organized jointly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan and AFCONE Secretariat, ISTC. One of the outcomes is expected to be the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (AfNWFZ) and the Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia (CANWFZ).

According to the AFCONE Executive Secretary, the upcoming Webinar should be considered as the continuation of the International Seminar held in Nur-Sultan on 28 August 2019, on strengthening cooperation among the NWFZs. In his opinion, in the future, such international fora should become regular and need to be conducted on an annual basis.

Below is an interview between Dr Baaliouamer and the CEO and Founder of the Diplomatic Informer Magazine South Africa, Ms Susan Novela:

 Dr. Messaoud Baaliouamer, Executive Secretary of the African Commission on Nuclear Energy (AFCONE) & His Excellency Ambassador Kanat Tumysh of Kazakhstan to the Republic of South Africa, Mr. Yernur Tuyakbayev, Deputy Head of Mission Kazakhstan Embassy

Q-1. What is the significant role of women in nuclear disarmament affairs in Africa? 

Answer-1: As a scientist, I recognize the role women have played in the major developments of the sciences.

I place importance on the contribution of women in nuclear activities, in particular in research, development and education & training. I always try to involve more women in our programmes and hire women in nuclear research laboratories and centres. Moreover, we continue to encourage the African Union national representatives at different levels to employ more women in nuclear science. AFCONE started interactions with the Association of Women in Nuclear in South Africa (WIN-SA) and Women in Nuclear in Africa (WIN-Africa). We encourage these associations to develop every effort to identify experts in different nuclear fields related to the regional socio-economic challenges, as well as nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation issues.

I know personally excellent international experts in Health (Radiotherapy, Nuclear Medicine, Medical Physics), in Radiation and Nuclear Safety, in Agriculture (Crop Improvement), Industry (Radiation Technology and Non-Destructive Testing) etc, which should be involved in this efforts, to strengthen the WIN Programmes. We need to see more women involved at the top.

So, yes, we are convinced that women should represent more our States and Programmes in Africa. They need to play a major role in different fields, contributing to the safe and secure peaceful uses of nuclear energy in Africa, and how civil society should intervene.

Q-2. When you look at Africa, what are the benefits of the African Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Treaty provisions in the development of Africa?

Answer-2: The provisions of the Pelindaba Treaty are responding to all the African countries’ issues, raised by nuclear energy, as follows:

  • Contribution to the global efforts towards total disarmament and stoppage of nuclear tests; Africa has already given concrete evidence of its commitment in these fields;
  • Strengthening the global efforts towards non-proliferation through verification processes;
  • Promotion of safe and secure peaceful uses of nuclear energy, in particular in the socio-economic priority fields;
  • Protection of African States against possible nuclear attacks on their territories.

Furthermore, the Pelindaba Treaty allows our continent to speak with one voice, while negotiating the review of the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the disarmament issues, the priority to allocate more funds to the development of peaceful uses of nuclear energy through international technical cooperation, the right to develop nuclear science and technology including through technology transfer, etc.

In addition, Africa, through the provisions of the Pelindaba Treaty (Treaty for which the African Union Commission is the depository), allow the gradual setup of an enabling environment to the creation of new Nuclear Weapons Free Zones, in particular the one in the Middle East.

One of the major interests of the African countries is to go ahead with promoting and developing peaceful use of nuclear energy as per Article 8 of the Pelindaba Treaty. We are already observing great impact with radiation applications in health, in particular in fighting cancer. We cannot imagine a national cancer plan without integrating nuclear medicine, radiotherapy, medical physics, and quality assurance programmes. Increasing mortality due to cancers is a really worrying health issue in African countries. In 2020, it is unimaginable that about twenty-eight countries in Africa lack a single radiotherapy unit! According to IARC, by 2030 1.4 million new cancer cases and 1 million deaths are foreseen in Africa.

Several African countries decided, for years now, to change the situation, in close cooperation with WHO and the IAEA. South Africa and other African countries are doing well by involving private partners to assist the governmental efforts.

AFCONE will make every effort to improve the situation on the continent, including through consolidating the synergy between all the stakeholders involved (WHO AFRO, AUC HRST & SA, AORTIC, IAEA, AFRA), Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (TCDC) to facilitate delivery in Africa by African Centres of Excellence, more cooperation efforts in this fields with the AU Strategic Partners.

This year, hopefully, before November 2020, we will organize, in close cooperation and support with the African Union Commission Departments, a high level meeting on fighting cancer, in order to continue to mobilise the highest decision makers in Africa, inviting them to fully integrate in their national health programs, cancer plans, with nuclear medicine and radiation therapy services, among others. We will also help with Banks Financial support through long term loans. A Call to Action will be submitted for consideration and adoption.

Q-3. Entire planet annually observes the International Day against Nuclear Tests on 29th of August. What can you say about the role, played by H.E. Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev, the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and the Leader of the Nation in this regard?

Answer-3: I sincerely applaud the First President of Kazakhstan H.E. Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev and commend the courage and action he took on the decisions at the national level: he succeeded and influenced efficiently the entire world. I believe that the world recognizes this just action and the impact of the decisions he made about the future. In this regard, we cordially congratulate H.E. Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev, the Leader of the Kazakhstani Nation (Elbasy) on receiving on 26 August 2020, on the eve of the International Day against Nuclear Tests, the status of champion for a world free of nuclear tests to highlight Kazakhstan’s historic contribution to the global efforts toward a world free of nuclear weapons.

However, there are many humanitarian uses of nuclear science that can unite rather than divide the world.

Q-4. How do you see the impact of AFCONE in the region, with the current prospect of signing the Memorandum of Understanding between the African Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone (AfNWFZ) and the Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone in Central Asia (CANWFZ)?

Answer-4: It will be a historic and important moment to sign this agreement between the two zones. In this vein, along with Kazakhstani leadership for its initiative seeking to establish dialogue among nuclear-weapons-free zones (NWFZs), we are thankful also to the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), which facilitates this Inter-regional co-ordination. At the meeting of last year in August, we discussed further disarmament and non-proliferation from that angle and beyond.

We are going to organize a task force underpinned by the document, calling for all the nuclear weapons free zones to strengthen their coordination. This is an opportunity for us to really show our will and our decisiveness to implement the conclusions of the 2019 Nur-Sultan Seminar; we do not see any further impact in deciding our activities in separate nuclear weapons free zones. This is in fact among the main objectives of the 4th Conference of the NWFZ, planned last April 2020 and postponed because of COVID-19.

We want collaborative efforts to first discuss with the nuclear weapons states on the different issues, which remain unresolved, and perhaps contribute to the creation of new nuclear-weapon-free zones, in particular in the Middle East, which is one of the most urgent areas, needing to be addressed at UN level.

Enhanced cooperation should continue to consolidate the efforts of all the states that are parties to the Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zones Treaties of Pelindaba (Africa); Semipalatinsk (Central Asia); Bangkok (Southeast Asia); Rarotonga (South Pacific); Tlatelolco (Latin America).

As I said earlier, there are many humanitarian uses of nuclear science that can unite rather than divide the world.

We are inviting the other NWFZs to integrate into their cooperation, the safe and secure peaceful uses of nuclear energy and strengthening education & training and Research & Development programmes in nuclear science and technology. This is why we are organizing soon, on 8 September 2020, in collaboration with our Partners from the International Science and Technology Centre (ISTC) based in Nur-Sultan (Kazakhstan) and the IAEA (Vienna), a Virtual Conference on Uranium Resources.  As you may know, Africa is home to about 20 % of the global uranium resources and Kazakhstan about 14 %. In addition, Kazakhstan has been hosting the IAEA Low Enrichment Uranium (LEU) Bank since 2017. This example will be one of the first of other Inter-Regional Conferences between the NWFZs.

Q-5. What are the timeframes for the aspiration of a nuclear-weapons-free world? And what will it take to get there?

Answer-5: This aspiration is debated each year at different UN Events and Venues. The Conference on Disarmament and the NPT Review Conference are expected to reach satisfactory results through implementation by all the States of the Resolutions and Action Plans agreed to previously.

We are supporting the UN Efforts, calling on those States, in particular in Africa that have not signed or ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) to do so as soon as possible.

Recently, during the commemoration of the 11th Anniversary of Entry into Force of the Pelindaba Treaty (15 July 2020), we also called to the signature and ratification by all the African Countries of the Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).  AFCONE is seeing the TPNW as reinforcing the global disarmament and non-proliferation.

Dr. Messaoud Baaliouamer, Executive Secretary of the African Commission on Nuclear Energy (AFCONE) & His Excellency Ambassador Kanat Tumysh of Kazakhstan to the Republic of South Africa, Mr. Yernur Tuyakbayev, Deputy Head of Mission Kazakhstan Embassy, & Ms. Susan Novela, CEO & Publisher, The Diplomatic Informer Magazine SA 

Q-6. Are there viable alternatives to nuclear energy and medicine?

Answer-6: Both African Union’s 2063 Agenda and universal Agenda 2030 with its 17 SDGs recognize the role of Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) as essential enablers for development and place priority on partnerships as a critical means of implementation.

Due to the growing number of African countries interested in peaceful applications of nuclear techniques to address specific development issues, we are already observing the increased needs at national and regional levels for building or further strengthening nuclear infrastructure and enhancing nuclear expertise and know-how to enable the African end-users to respond more effectively to their development priorities.

In this respect, AFCONE, according to the recent (December 2019) Report of the Specialised Technical Committee on Education, Science and Technology (STC EST) will be a major vehicle for facilitating and enhancing the development of Nuclear Science & Technology and know-how and their transfer to and amongst the African Countries.

All the Countries are benefiting, at different levels, from peaceful uses of nuclear energy. These applications, developed safely are used routinely in generating electricity. According to data for December 2019, there are 447 nuclear power reactors operating worldwide. Thirty countries currently use nuclear power and 28 are considering, planning or actively working to include it in their energy mix.

Considering that rapid economic and population growth in Africa will have profound implications for the energy sector, especially also due to the need for sustainable solutions to address climate change, nuclear power should be considered in the Energy Mix Strategies of African Countries, according to the April 2019 Report of the AUC Specialised Technical Committee (STC) on Transport, Transcontinental and Interregional Infrastructure, Energy and Tourism (TTIIET). This is already the case in several countries (South Africa, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and other newcomers).

AFCONE will work closely with the African Union Commission, the IAEA and the State Parties, in order to contribute to the adequate implementation of the nuclear power programmes, respecting the IAEA Milestones Approach enabling a sound development process.

Regarding the Applications in Health, I specified above the essential role radiation technologies are already playing in improving diagnosis and treatments through medical imaging, nuclear medicine, radiotherapy and medical physics. Significant developments are observed in Africa, but there still a lot to do in order to reach the international standards in terms of availability of dedicated equipment, adequate well trained skills to operate and manage safely the specific infrastructure and implementation of quality assurance programmes in the delivery of services. Through our activities with all the Stakeholders, including the AU Strategic Partners support, we should be able to improve gradually the situation and make available as much as possible safe and efficient radiation technologies in the majority of the African Union Member States.

Q-7. How safe are the disposal arrangements? 

Answer-7: The Pelindaba Treaty provisions call for the promotion of peaceful uses of nuclear energy, however the Safety, Security and Safeguard concerns are raised with the highest importance. Article 07 is dedicated to the Prohibition of dumping of radioactive waste.

In fact, the modern management of radioactive waste generated is one of the prerequisites for the development of any peaceful nuclear application, including for health. As you may know, more than 10 of the 19 IAEA nuclear infrastructure issues are dedicated to Safety, Security, and Safeguards. Nuclear safety is a national responsibility but remains a global issue.

AFCONE is developing close cooperation with IAEA and the Forum of Nuclear Regulatory Bodies in Africa (FNRBA) in order to strengthen and fully apply the regulations in the field of radiation safety and security, including the modern management of radioactive waste.

The African Commission on Nuclear Energy (AFCONE), aware of the importance to the African and international community of ensuring that the use of nuclear energy is safe, well-regulated, and environmentally sound, recognised the need to identify, select and designate African Regional Collaborating Centres (RCCs) in order to assist with implementing the activities in the fields of Nuclear Safety, Security and Safeguards.

Q-8: What is the main challenges preventing African countries from safely and securely using nuclear energy?

Answer-8: In my personal point of view, the main ones are:

  • The firm governmental decisions to integrate adequately peaceful uses of nuclear energy within the national socio-economic development plans;
  • The inculcation of a safety culture at all the levels – from the National Nuclear Regulatory Authorities to all the staff involved in the programmes and the population;
  • Capacity-building through the development of the appropriate Human Resource strategies, followed by a sustainable programme of education & training in nuclear science & technology.

Q-9: Considering the Current Status of Nuclear Science and Technology Development in Africa, what is the AFCONE Strategy towards Technology Transfer?

Answer-9: Science Transfer is a Prerequisite to the Technology Transfer.

When we recognise that, we understand the priority to give to excellence in Education & Training, Research & Development in Nuclear Science and Technology in our National and Regional Programmes.

AFCONE has decided to encourage ownership in this field through encouraging training the trainers and support to the Youth and Women in Nuclear. The Commission has launched since 2019 the formalisation of its Cooperation programmes with several partners, including the IAEA (Vienna), ESARDA (JRC/EU), International Science and Technology Centre based in Nur Sultan (Kazakhstan).

In fact, all the African Union Strategic Partners, advanced in the field of nuclear science and technology, are identified as potential partners in such programmes for the benefit of the African Experts, Scientists and Youth.

THE FIRST KAZAKH PRESIDENT NAZARBAYEV GIVEN THE STATUS AS A CHAMPION FOR A WORLD FREE OF NUCLEAR TESTS

THE FIRST KAZAKH PRESIDENT NAZARBAYEV GIVEN THE STATUS AS A CHAMPION FOR A WORLD FREE OF NUCLEAR TESTS

The First Kazakh President – Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev has received the status as a champion for a world free of nuclear tests, Kazinform cites the Foreign Ministry of Kazakhstan. Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, acted as an initiator of giving the status as a champion for a world free of nuclear tests to Nursultan Nazarbayev at the special session of the UN General Assembly, held to mark the International Day against Nuclear Tests observed on August 29, to highlight Kazakhstan’s historic contribution to the global efforts towards a world free of nuclear weapons.

It is said that Elbasy’s unprecedented decision to bring an end to nuclear tests at the Semipalatinsk Polygon back on August 29, 1991 became the first legal ban on nuclear tests as well as led to the establishment of the International Day against Nuclear Tests. Tarja Halonen, former President of Finland, is also the holder of the same status. Holders of the status as a champion for a world free of nuclear tests who also join the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Group of Eminent Personalities are said to promote outreach activities among non-signatory members of the Treaty to make them better understand all the benefits of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization as well as to share best practices, including Kazakhstan’s dismantling of nuclear facilities.

Mukhtar Tleuberdi, Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan, addressed the GA special session on behalf of Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev.