Issue 105 | 03 April 2014
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The summit afforded Africa and Europe the opportunity to further strengthen political and socio-economic cooperation between the two continents. 
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, led the South African delegation to the Fourth Africa-European Union (EU) Summit from 2 to 3 April 2014 in Brussels, Belgium, under the theme: “Investing in People, Prosperity and Peace”.

The summit afford leaders from the two continents the opportunity to undertake a stock-taking of concrete deliverables that have been achieved over the past three years as guided by the Africa-EU Action Plan 2010 – 2013, which was adopted at the Third Africa-EU Summit in Tripoli, Libya, in November 2010.
It was envisaged that three declarations would be adopted at the summit, namely: the Brussels Declaration of the Heads of State and Government, which is the main outcome document for the Fourth Africa-EU Summit; the Africa-EU Roadmap; and the Declaration on Migration and Mobility.

In addition, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane also hold bilateral consultations with her counterparts from Africa and Europe on the sidelines of the summit.
South Africa calls upon both the Russian Federation and Ukraine to engage in dialogue and cooperation in the interest of the stability of the broader region.
The South African Government reiterates its concern regarding developments in Ukraine.

South Africa is of the view that the escalation of hostile language, the imposition of sanctions and counter-sanctions, the use of threat of force and violent actions do not contribute to the peaceful resolution of the situation and the economic stability of Ukraine and the region.

South Africa encourages the various parties to strengthen all diplomatic efforts to produce a sustainable and peaceful solution, including through appropriate international fora. It is essential that a political path be supported by a united, cohesive international effort towards a negotiated political settlement reflective of the will of the people aimed at establishing a democratic pluralistic society, in which minorities are protected.

It further encourages regional initiatives aimed at resolving the crisis and in this regard welcomes the deployment of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. South Africa will continue to follow developments in the region.
"South Africa stands ready to work together with all members of the international community to raise nuclear security levels internationally."
South Africa remains firmly committed to maintaining the security of all nuclear and other radioactive material in the country, in keeping with its national and international obligations, the Minister of International Relations, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, said at the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit at The Hague in the Netherlands recently.

"We welcome the progress achieved to strengthen nuclear security at national levels and through the relevant multilateral organisations, especially the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)," the Minister said.

South Africa would continue to exercise its right to research, develop and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, she said, noting that the country had adopted a policy on the beneficiation of its mineral resources, including uranium.

"We also derive great benefit from nuclear applications in areas such as health, nutrition and agriculture. South Africa contributes to these applications through the supply of medical isotopes and is well-placed to produce these isotopes on a large scale using low-enriched uranium fuel."

South Africa firmly favours a multilateral approach to promoting nuclear security which upholds the centrality of the IAEA and the United Nations (UN), and which respects the international rule of law and the principles enshrined in the UN Charter.

"South Africa believes that through a cooperative approach in the relevant multilateral organisations, (nuclear security risks) can be effectively dealt with."

The summit concluded with the adoption of the Hague Communiqué which, according to the summit website, includes new agreements on "reducing the amount of dangerous nuclear material in the world that terrorists could use to make a nuclear weapon", as well as "improving the security of radioactive material (including low-enriched uranium) that can be used to make a 'dirty bomb'". Source:
The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Marius Fransman, will engage with the community of Beaufort-West in the Western Cape on 10 April 2014 during one of department’s Public Participation Programmes (PPPs).
These outreach events, which emanate from a Cabinet instruction, serve as a two-way sharing of information that demonstrates responsiveness to needs, a basis for sustained dialogue between government and people, a mechanism for fact-finding by government to align services with needs, and a direct response to community issues and concerns, and reinforces a key pillar of a participatory and consultative democracy.
"With the SKA, things will definitely change. Africa will no longer be the receiver but a major contributor to technology, and hopefully young scientists on the continent will benefit." ‒ Science and Technology Minister Derek Hanekom
The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope will transform perceptions of Africa, the Minister of Science and Technology, Derek Hanekom, said ahead of the launch of the first antenna of South Africa's SKA precursor, the MeerKAT, on 27 March.

The Minister was speaking to the media in Pretoria after the first Ministerial Meeting of the nine SKA African partner countries: Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The nine African countries signed a SKA readiness strategy and joint implementation plan stipulating the resources in time, funds and human capital to be made available by each country by 2015.

The countries also plan to mobilise the funding and technical resources needed to realise Africa's own vision for radio astronomy, which includes the creation of an African-owned network of radio telescopes – capable of supporting an African very long baseline interferometry network – in the nine SKA partner countries.

In June 2012, the board of the African Renaissance Fund, which is located in South Africa's Department of International Relations and Cooperation, approved R120 million in funding for initial work on the project, which will involve recycling disused telecommunications dishes spread out over a number of countries.

South Africa's Department of Science and Technology has added another R21 million in funding for the project, which is being driven by SKA South Africa and the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO) near Johannesburg.

To keep the wheels turning, Minister Hanekom said South Africa was already providing training for seven Ghanaians who will operate and maintain the soon-to-be radio telescope at Kutunse in Ghana.

In all, 90 students from other African countries had been trained in South Africa, and it was hoped that more people from the partner countries would be trained over the next few years. Source:
The ABF is a key component of the US-South Africa Strategic Dialogue, established by former US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, in 2010. The forum meets annually to review the depth and breadth of cooperation between the two nations across a range of bilateral working groups.
The Department of International Cooperation and Relations hosted the US Mission in Pretoria for the Fifth ABF under the United States-South Africa Strategic Dialogue. The forum was co-chaired by US Ambassador Patrick H Gaspard and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation’s Chief Director: North America, Ambassador John Davies.

During the day-long forum, officials from across the South African Government hosted their counterparts from the US Mission to review bilateral cooperation in 14 separate areas:  basic and higher education, agriculture, health, protocol and administration, economic development, trade and investment, energy, water, environment, transportation, science and technology, defence, and safety and security. Separate sessions during the year also address cooperation through the African and Global Affairs Working Group.
In January this year, Saudi Arabia overtook Germany to become South Africa's second-biggest source of imports, with China being the largest.
Trade between South Africa and Saudi Arabia nearly trebled from R29,7 billion in 2009 to R80,1 billion in 2013, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, said at the Fifth Session of the South Africa-Saudi Arabia Joint Economic Commission in Pretoria recently. 

At the same, South Africa was keen to achieve more balanced trade between the two countries, Minister Davies said, noting that South Africa's trade deficit with Saudi Arabia grew from R62,2 billion in 2012 to R74,8 billion in 2013.

"There is no doubt that the level of our bilateral trade, especially South Africa's value-added exports to Saudi Arabia, is far below potential and is also concentrated in a few sectors like oil and gas, raw materials, fruits and vegetables," Davies said in a statement issued after the meeting.

Dr Davies and his Saudi counterpart, Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, co-chaired the Joint Economic Commission meeting, which agreed to harness all means to promote further growth between the two regional powerhouses.

"We have expressed our desire to collaborate with the Saudi side in the promotion of investments between the two countries. This can be done through the exchange of company visits. To this end, the South African side will make available its top 10 investment projects to its Saudi counterparts,” Minister Davies said.

The commission had also agreed to increase cooperation in the field of mineral resources and beneficiation by setting up exchange programmes for professionals working in the field.

The meeting of the commission was preceded by a South Africa-Saudi Arabia Business Forum attended by businesspeople from both countries. The forum mandated the South Africa-Saudi Arabia Business Council to identify complementary projects that businesses could collaborate on. Source:
No less than 23 world top 10-ranked players in various categories have entered the series, representing 17 countries. Included among the entrants are two world number one players, Sabine Ellerbrock (Germany) in the women's singles and David Wagner (USA) in the Quads.
Many of the best wheelchair tennis players in the world have confirmed their entries for the Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) series taking place in Johannesburg and Benoni, east of Johannesburg, in April.

The back-to-back tournaments form part of the prestigious International Tennis Federation (ITF) NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour and other than prize money, the players will be battling on court for all-important world ranking points.

The first tournament, the Grade 1 Acsa South Africa Gauteng Open will be played from 23 to 27 April at the Gauteng East Tennis Complex in Benoni Lake, followed by the Acsa SA Open, one of only six Super Series events, to be played from 29 April to 2 May at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg.

Each tournament will host a men's, women's, quads and juniors event. Source:
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