Issue 168 | 14 May 2015
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The leaders agreed on the need to intensify cooperation in various areas, including trade and to explore further opportunities in the areas of mining, energy and agriculture, among others.
South Africa and Russia have once again agreed to sustain the momentum of their bilateral relationship. This followed successful bilateral discussions between President Jacob Zuma and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia.

President Zuma was in Russia on a Working Visit to attend the Jubilee Celebrations on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Great Patriotic War (WW II).

President Zuma congratulated President Putin on the moving celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the Great Patriotic War, which heralded victory against Nazi Germany and the end of World War 2 in 1945.

South Africa and Russia have strong cooperation in the political, economic, social, defence and security fields.

The legal instruments and mechanisms that affirm the strategic relationship between the two countries include the Protocol on Political Consultations signed in 1994; the Joint Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation, signed in 1995; Declaration of Principles on Friendly Relations and Partnership, signed in 1999; and the Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation (ITEC), signed in 1999. There are also the Joint Inter-Governmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation, established in 2002; the Treaty of Friendship and Partnership, signed in 2006; and the Declaration on Strategic Partnership between the Republic of South Africa and the Russian Federation, signed in March 2013.
The two leaders, supported by their delegations, held wide-ranging talks, which included an assessment of bilateral cooperation, the status and implementation of ITEC agreements and preparations for the 13th ITEC Session to be hosted by the Russian Federation during the latter part of 2015. They also discussed preparations for the Seventh BRICS Summit, scheduled to be hosted by Russia from 8 to 9 July 2015. – Source:
South Africa considers Iran to be an important friend and partner and recognises the important role Iran assumes regionally and internationally within global governance and multilateral architecture, particularly as the incumbent Chair of the Non-Aligned Movement.
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, led the South African delegation to co-chair the 12th Meeting of the South Africa-Iran Joint Commission in Tehran, Iran, from 10 to 11 May 2015.

The Joint Commission remains one of South Africa’s longest-serving and most successful structured bilateral mechanisms.

The 12th session afforded the two countries the opportunity to engage in deliberations related to geopolitical and peace and security developments in their respective regions, to review the status of bilateral relations and to assess the potential for enhanced cooperation. South Africa and Iran enjoy cooperation across varied fields, including arts and culture, agriculture, education and health, and the potential for the expansion thereof remains positive.
South Africa will host the 25th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU Summit) from 7 to 15 June 2015.
As part of its preparations for the summit, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation briefed editors on 13 May 2015 in Pretoria.

The briefing, led by the Deputy Director-General: Multilateral, Amb N Mxakato-Diseko, covered issues ranging from the workings of the AU and its structures, such as the Pan-African Parliament and the African Peer Review Mechanism, to peace and security, climate change and the reform of the United Nations Security Council.

The briefing also touched on Africa’s Agenda 2063, infrastructure development and regional integration. The June Summit is expected to approve the first 10-year implementation plan of Agenda 2063 – a call for action and a strategic framework and road map to achieve continental development goals.

The briefing will be followed by a one-day, interactive media workshop scheduled for 15 May 2015, in Pretoria. The workshop will update media representatives on the status of preparations, including media logistics.
The roundtable discussion hosted by South African Tourism Minister, Derek Hanekom, with the theme “Africa: Open for Tourism Business”, afforded 13 African ministers and key tourism industry players an opportunity to discuss and debate the current state of tourism in Africa with a view of collectively formulating solutions to grow and develop tourism on the continent.
Growth and development of tourism on the African continent was at the top of the agenda during the African tourism ministers roundtable discussion on the eve of the official opening of the Tourism Indaba in Durban recently. 

Minister Hanekom said the African market was undergoing unprecedented growth in tourist arrivals, adding that global interest in the continent, and a growing middle class with disposal income, was driving economic growth.

“Today’s meeting was not only a testimony of our commitment to strengthening relationships with our African counterparts, but a positive step forward towards finding workable solutions to advance tourism within the continent.

“Although the continent is overwhelmed by social and economic challenges, challenges such as the outbreak of Ebola and the recent attacks on foreign nationals have the potential to impact negatively on tourism on the continent.

“We have to rise against these challenges, and commit to work together to address them for the future of tourism,” he said.

Speaking on the state of tourism on the African continent, Elcia Grandcourt, Regional Director for Africa at the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) reasserted the UNWTO’s commitment to supporting Africa in growing tourism.

“Africa must work with Africa to advance tourism on the continent. Cultural and historical resources in Africa are not being adequately harnessed to lure tourists to Africa. To show our commitment, we will host our first image and branding conference in Accra, Ghana, with the view to impart skills within the continent, so it can better profile itself.

“Africa is fast establishing itself as one of the most promising regions for tourism. Africa will receive 85 million international tourist arrivals by 2020, and 134 million in 2030, representing respectively 6,3% and 7,4% of international tourist arrivals worldwide,” she said.
– Source
Minister Davies said the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Economic Cooperation demonstrated the eagerness by both the governments of South Africa and Mauritania to strengthen bilateral economic relations. The MoU is in line with South Africa’s broad economic engagement framework for Africa.
South Africa and Mauritania have committed to enhance bilateral economic relations. The commitment was made in Pretoria recently when the Minister of Trade and industry, Rob Davies, and the Mauritanian Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Naha Mint Hamdi Ould Mouknass, signed a MoU on Economic Cooperation. This will enable the two countries to explore trade and investment opportunities in the energy, mining, transport and communications infrastructure, agroprocessing and tourism sector.

“The primary aim of this MOU is to achieve mutual economic growth and development in a bid to accelerate regional and continental economic integration. We as government are striving to create a conducive business environment by removing impediments which affect business transactions between our business communities."

Mauritania Minister Ould Mouknass described the MoU as evidence of the will and commitment to allow both countries to stimulate commercial relations among businesspeople, industries and different sectors.
The Tourism Indaba is one of the largest tourism trade fairs in Africa.
South African cities needed to tap into their unique characteristics that would make them a selling point that would appeal to international tourists, Tourism Minister, Derek Hanekom, said at the weekend.

Minister Hanekom, who was attending the Tourism Indaba in Durban, said: “Barcelona has its La Ramblas, Paris its Champs-Elysees, Marrakesh its Medina and Tokyo its Harajuku district. Our cities can tap into this growing demand, which is an opportunity to grow our visitor numbers by profiling great cities and their diverse offerings. Urban tourism also has the potential to extend our ‘tourist season’, because visitors seeking inner city experiences are less guided by the weather.”

More than 100 companies and tour operators staged exhibitions at the Indaba this year according to the organisers’ website. – Source:
In terms of IPAP 2015, the Black Industrialists Development Programme will be established over the coming year. It will be aimed at promoting industrialisation, sustainable economic growth and transformation through the support of black-owned entities in the mainstream of the South African manufacturing industry and related manufacturing sectors.
The seventh issue of the Department of Trade and Industry's Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP), launched on 7 May, highlights the development of a specific support framework for black industrialists.

Briefing reporters at the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) in Johannesburg at the launch, Minister Rob Davies said government would focus on the programme. "If we are focusing on the manufacturing sector, we need to ensure that the manufacturing sector becomes much more representative of the demographics of our people, but more importantly that the manufacturing sector benefits from the available pool of talent from the country and the population as a whole."

In March, the department said it would avail R1 billion in support of the programme with the initial aim being to support 100 black industrialists. "Becoming an industrialist is not an easy task. It requires passion and a skills set and capabilities. What we are going to be doing is we are focusing on a particular programme which will identify and support black industrialists," Minister Davies said.

According to the document, the programme envisages implementing key measures such as access to finance, access to markets, skills development, standards, quality and productivity improvements by black manufacturing companies.

History had shown that industrialisation was a necessity. "The lessons that we've drawn and which is also the common understanding of the African continent, is that industrialisation is necessary because if we don't industrialise, we are trapped in the most disadvantageous place in the global division of labour as producers and exporters of primary products and as importers of finished goods.

"That is the most disadvantageous position to be in because the real value in value chains lies in the parts that take place after the delivery of the primary materials." – Source:
The Minister encouraged South Africans to support the Migrants Awards and show their commitment towards creating a better society and building a united Africa by nominating individuals who have made an impactful difference in their field of expertise.
Nominations for the inaugural South African Migrants Awards are now open. According to the Department of Home Affairs, the awards will aim at demonstrating the country’s commitment to building a caring, inclusive and unified South African society.

Unveiling the inaugural SA Migrants Awards in Pretoria recently, the Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, said: "The objectives of these awards include honouring and recognising outstanding migrants residing in South Africa, who make an immense contribution to South Africa’s development in their various fields of expertise. The awards also acknowledge and celebrate South Africans who live beyond our country’s borders, contributing to the development of the African continent through their work in areas of need, all across the globe.” 

Minister Gigaba said the winners would be announced during a recognition ceremony on Africa Day on 25 May in Johannesburg.

The SA Migrants Awards comprise six categories: Arts and Culture; Business; Civil Society and Non-Government Organisations; Sport; OR Tambo; and most integrated community.

All the nominations should be forwarded to before the closing date, 20 May . – Source:
As part of the celebration, which also tied in with Africa Month, auditors-general (AGs) from various countries shared public-sector governance experiences from their respective countries in the past 10 years. 
On 8 May, over 100 African AGs and their high-ranking officials celebrated the 10th anniversary of the African Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions, an umbrella body of all AGs in the continent.

The organisation was established in Cape Town in 2005.
The awards aim to acknowledge talented Africans making their mark in the online space.
More than 1 000 entries from across the African continent were received for the 2015 African Blogger Awards – more than double the number received in 2014, the inaugural year.

Entries were open in five main categories, including Best African Blog, Best African YouTube Channel, Best African Instagrammer, Best African Twitter profile and Best African Facebook page, as well as across 36 sub-categories.

The awards are based on "impartial blog metrics", rather than through peer nominations and voting, the organisers say.

"The extensive growth in the number of entries we received this year shows that the African social influencer and blogging scenes are not as far behind the rest of the world as many people think," says Murray Legg, co-founder of the African Blogger Awards.

"Even though blogs created and built in Africa may be slowed down by irregular connectivity, it's clear that content is being spread across social networks like wildfire, as people across the continent use social media to connect and share their stories," Legg said.

The organisers say that social media has allowed the continent to take charge of its own narrative. "It is always amazing to see the power of social media, especially in telling a good news story about Africa, take centre stage in the digital age."

The winners were announced on 5 May, with awards made in four of the five main categories:
  • the best blog about Africa is the African Hip Hop Blog from Zimbabwe
  • the best Instagrammer in Africa is Gareth Pon from South Africa
  • the best Twitter personality in Africa is Xtiandela from Kenya
  • the best YouTube channel in Africa is Theodora Lee from South Africa.
The 36 sub-categories included advice, fashion and beauty, events and nightlife, education, sports, political, technology and gadgets, and youth culture.

The awards said on its website that the event had been enthusiastically covered on social media, where "the diversity of nationalities [were] a clear indication that social media influencers across Africa have welcomed the opportunity to be measured quantitatively against their peers".

"The African Blogger Awards are the first true, impartial measure of the reach, resonance and relevance of an influencer channel."

The third edition of the African Blogger Awards will be held in February 2016. – Source:
Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) spokesperson, Collin Naidoo, speaking at Indaba 2015, said the developments were part of Acsa's new operating model, aimed at re-energising its business to keep improving South Africa's airports. The expansion is set to be completed over the next three years.
Cape Town International Airport is set for an overhaul with the upgrading of its domestic and international terminals planned for the airport, along with the realignment of its runway, forming the bulk of Acsa’s R7,7-billion expansion plans.

Acsa facilitates in excess of 38 million passengers through South Africa’s nine airports and with the 21-year-old company run by the Department of Transport, "Acsa is one of the better performing parastatals" said Naidoo.

Naidoo said Acsa was good at maximising its knowledge and expertise to compete globally. In 2007, it secured its first international management contract with India to manage its Mumbai International Airport as well as facilitate a new airport terminal. The airport sees in excess of 28 million passengers annually and with a 10% stake in the airport, Acsa is positioned to be at its helm for the next 25 years, said Naidoo.

Acsa currently runs Brazil’s airport in Sᾶo Paulo, which has also recently undergone an expansion with a new terminal, following the hosting of the World Cup, the Pope's visit and the upcoming Olympics.

Two years ago, Acsa signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ghana Airports to manage its airports.

Naidoo also cited the successful bid to host the first World Routes Conference in Africa, in Durban in September 2015, as an example of how the company was working to establish and expose not only the city of Durban in South Africa, but also the continent to key airlines and aviation players within the industry. – Source: Traveller24,
"This new investment will allow us to offer higher-quality services to our customers, so that they, in turn, can provide high-quality services to their users within and outside Africa," said Mark Tinka, Seacom's head of engineering, in a statement.
South Africans, along with Internet users on the rest of the continent, may soon experience faster broadband as a result of a Seacom network upgrade.

The company says it has upgraded its IP (Internet Protocol) and MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) network. This means that Seacom can use existing hardware to deliver a scalable offering to service providers.

Seacom also said it expects service providers to have lower cost access to 1 Gigabit (gb), 10gb, and 100gb Ethernet ports, which allows the company to future-proof its technology.

"It will also offer us improved levels of operational efficiency and scalability, ease administration and provide a growth path for the future. We will easily be able to scale our IP/MPLS network up to multiple terabits of capacity and more, giving us plenty of headroom for growth," said Tinka in a statement.

The Seacom upgrade comes as demand for data is growing in Africa.

In South Africa alone, mobile data traffic is expected to grow 11-fold from 2014 to 2019, driven by a projected 48,2 million mobile users by 2019, according to a forecast released by networking company Cisco.

Seacom was one of the first providers to offer wholesale Internet access via its 17 000-km submarine cable in 2009. Since then, the company has also migrated to offer end-user services in a number of African countries struggling with last mile connectivity.

A number of competing cable providers have also made landfall in Africa, including the West Africa Cable System (Wacs), the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System (Eassy) and ACE (African Coast to Europe), among others. – Source:
The agreement covers cooperation between the two provinces in areas of tertiary education, land and water management as well as agriculture, nature conservation, health and education and was signed during Premier Mabuza’s recent visit to Italy.
Mpumalanga Premier, David Mabuza, has signed a bilateral agreement with the Governor of Puglia Region in Italy, Nichi Vendola.

Premier Mabuza said the two provinces would soon set up a joint committee that would facilitate and coordinate the areas of cooperation so that the agreement became a living document. He said Mpumalanga would be sending students to study medicine in Puglia, Italy.

“We have a shortage of doctors in our hospitals and I have no doubt that Puglia, which produces around 350 doctors per year can send some of their doctors to come and assist us in our hospitals,” he said.

Governor Vendola said his province of Puglia was ready to help Mpumalanga with issues of water management and environmental protection.

“We hope Mpumalanga will not make the same mistakes that we made in Italy in the past by focusing too much on development and ignoring nature conservation.

“We think you and your province can learn a lot from us in water management and nature conservation especially because we have no rivers running through some parts our province, yet we have learnt how to conserve water,” Governor Vendola said.

Mpumalanga Premier’s office spokesperson, Zibonele Mncwango, said the MEC for Agriculture Rural Development Land and Environmental Affairs, Andries Gamede, also signed an agreement with the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM).

“This agreement will lead to cooperation between the Mpumalanga Department of Agriculture and the centre in the areas of food security, rural development and agriculture in general,” Mncwango said.

Mpumalanga will be sending graduate students to do their Masters degrees in scientific research on agriculture.

“We are impressed with the work of the centre, especially in areas of education, technical training, scientific research, food security, women and rural development.

“These issues resonate with our needs and challenges that we are facing as a young democracy,” Premier Mabuza said. –



As part of Africa Month celebrations, 13 countries from different parts of the continent such as Congo Brazzaville, Botswana, Namibia, Ghana, Senegal, Sudan, Burundi, Egypt, Algeria, Tanzania, Western Sahara and Mozambique participated in the Archives Week programme.


The Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Rejoice Mabudafhasi, and the MEC of Sport, Arts and Culture, Nandi Ndalane, launched the Africa Month Film Festival as part of the Africa Month celebrations programme on 9 May, in Polokwane, Limpopo.

The launch included the screening of Elelwani, the first Tshivenda feature film selected as South Africa’s Oscar entry in 2014. The film festivals will also take place in North West and the Northern Cape as part of promoting Africa’s diversity culture and language. The viewing is open to the public.

The film festival opening was followed by the launch of the Annual National Archives Week programme, which took place on Monday, 11 May 2015, in Polokwane. The year’s programme was hosted under the theme “Archives our Living Past” to highlight archives and records services as the memory bank of the nations where our past is preserved for present access for all.

The department encourages all sectors of society to join the Africa Month celebrations. The full programme for the month is available on




The roadshow has gained significant momentum over the past five years; this year, it will again focus on advancing healthcare and energy-efficient lighting solutions.

Philips will embark on its sixth annual journey across Africa, leaving Cape Town on 11 May and covering 12 000 kilometres, visiting 11 cities in eight countries over four-and-a-half months.

From the start, the ambition has been to collaborate and engage with customers, governments, NGOs and media on challenges facing Africa, according to the Dutch health and well-being company. Issues that have been tackled over the last five years have included mother and child care, the rise of non-communicable diseases, energy-efficient light emitting diode and solar lighting solutions, as well as clinical education and training.

During the 2014 roadshow, Philips and the University of Johannesburg inaugurated a high-tech Medical Simulation Lab to support clinical education. It provides medical students direct access to real life situations, as well as technical know-how behind medical equipment in a contained setting.

Since the first roadshow in 2010, Philips has trained over 3 100 healthcare professionals across Africa. It has organised structured training workshops on maternal and child care, training practitioners where to look and what to look for, and preparing them on how to use this information to guide diagnoses and treatment decisions. In 2015, clinical education and healthcare training will continue to be a priority. – Source: APO  
The report ranks the 141 countries across 14 separate dimensions, revealing how well countries could deliver sustainable economic and societal benefits through their travel and tourism sector. 
South Africa has been ranked first in Sub-Saharan Africa on the biennial World Economic Forum (WEF) Travel’s Global Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) 2015 released in Geneva, Switzerland, recently. 

Snatching the zenith from Seychelles in the Sub-Saharan Africa category, South Africa was ranked at number 48 globally, while the archipelago of islands was second in the region and followed at a somewhat distant 54 on the world stage.

Seychelles topped the regional rankings in the 2013 report and was at 38 globally, when South Africa held positions 3 and 64.

Mauritius was placed third in the region this year, followed by Namibia, Kenya, Cape Verde, Botswana, Tanzania, Rwanda and Zambia respectively as the Sub-Saharan top 10 of 2015.

On the global front, Spain was ranked at the apex, followed by France and then Germany.

Other traditional travel and tourism destinations – the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Australia, Italy, Japan and Canada – made up the rest of the global top 10.

The WEF produced the report in collaboration with Strategy & Bloom consulting, Deloitte, the International Air Transport Association, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation and the World Travel & Tourism Council. – Source: ANA/
George Coetzee has played the 18th at Heritage Golf Club three times on 10 May 2015, and he made birdie each time.
George Coetzee won the inaugural AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open over the weekend.

He carded two-under-par 69 in regulation play in the final round, and then beat Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen on the second play-off hole to take the first tournament sanctioned by three of the world’s major tours – the Sunshine Tour, The European Tour and the Asian Tour.

“Being on the play-off was the most comfortable I felt today,” said Coetzee. “I just had to get the job done. It doesn’t matter how long it takes.”
– Source:
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