20 May 2022

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Dr Naledi Pandor, officially handed over computers to Zinikeleni Secondary School in Carolina, Mpumalanga Province.

The laptops were generously donated to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) by Ambassador Tariq Al-Ansari of the State of Qatar to South Africa.

The Minister’s event in Zinikeleni Secondary School formed part of the events leading to the Presidential Imbizo. Minister Pandor used the opportunity of her visit to the school to interact with the learners regarding the importance of education, which is one of the government’s key priorities.

His Excellency Ambassador Tariq Al-Ansari joined Minister Pandor during the hand-over event at the school. Other dignitaries included the MEC for Education in Mpumalanga, Mr Bonakele Majuba; the Executive Mayor of Gert Sibande District Municipality, Cllr Dan Nkosi; and members of the School Governing Body.

In her remarks, the Honourable Minister Dr. Naledi Pandor, thanked the Embassy of Qatar for their generosity and said “the donation  will lay a solid foundation for the future generation in the community”.

In his speech to the students, Ambassador

Al-Ansari encouraged the scholars to pursue higher studies in technology.

Ambassador Tariq Ali Faraj Al-Ansari also commended the leadership of President Cyril Ramaphosa and his government for what it is doing to uplift the Youth and prepare them for positions of future leadership as captains of industry. In the same vein, he hailed women as the bedrock of society, and used the Minister as an example of impressive women.

He also noted that the Qatar Vision 2030 puts education at the centre, something that is critical for the development of the small Gulf nation. Qatar will use ICT to enhance education, health and social services within this strategy said Ambassador Tariq Ali Faraj Al-Ansari.

Zinikeleni Secondary school is a public school which is a section 21 school. The schools budget is allocated by the Department of Basic Education and is responsible for ordering stationery, and textbooks, paying for water and lights accounts and undertaking its maintenance. It is classified under quintile 4. The school has about 1 355 learners served by 51 teachers.

The State of Qatar and the Republic of South Africa have witnessed  a growing development in all political, economic and investment fields   since the establishment  of relations, in addition to the official high level visits by officials in both countries.

Qatar and South Africa’s bilateral trade has documented a 37% increase between 2020 and 2021, an increases officials attribute to the strong economic relations between both nations.

Recently Qatar Chamber’s First Vice-Chairman Mohamed bin Towar Al Kuwari revealed that the trade numbers have increased  from 786 million QAR in 2020 to 1.2 billion QAR in 2021, highlighting the significant momentum relations gained in recent years.

Qatar is South Africa’s largest trading partner in the Middle East region in terms of exports and the fifth largest trading partner in terms of imports. South Africa purchases the bulk of petroleum related products from Qatar. SA exports amongst other products, fresh fruit and vegetables, food agro-processed products, steel and textiles to Qatar. The opportunity to explore other possibilities is forever present.

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