Issue 59 | 30 May 2013
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“In moving forward to commemorate another 50 years, we wish for goodness and prosperity for our continent and its people.” – President Jacob Zuma
Africans from the five regions of the continent and the Diaspora as well as guests from around the world converged at the headquarters of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 25 May 2013, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), now the AU, which was established on 25 May 1963 in the same city.

It was a day filled with song and dance as Africans gathered to mark yet another milestone in the history of the continent. Hundreds attended the anniversary celebrations to mark the foundation of the OAU. The event was also attended by current and former heads of state, secretaries general and chairpersons of the OAU/AU. The United Nations Secretary General was also among the guests.

Interspersed with short messages of support from a selected list of leaders, including former Zambian President, Kenneth Kaunda, AU Commission Chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, and Ethiopia’s new leader, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, the audience was treated to a programme of African traditional performances and cultural items. The spectacular show was put together by South Africa’s well-known chorographer Somizi Mhlongo.

President Jacob Zuma said: “As we mark the 50th anniversary of the OAU, we must intensify our efforts and our calls for the reform of the governing global order. While we rightfully celebrate the 50th anniversary, we are cognisant of the challenges we face. The road ahead to attain peace, stability and prosperity on the African continent for all her peoples is still arduous. This calls on all leaders of the continent to sharpen their resolve and through the African Union, raise our collective voices, and confront the challenges presented by the current global dispensation.”
The proposed African Capacity is an interim measure pending the operationalisation of the African Standby Force and its rapid deployment capability. The African Capacity is therefore not a new concept but is built on the principles of the African Standby Force.
On 27 May 2013, the African Union (AU) Summit adopted a historic decision to establish the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIR) at the initiative of South Africa.

President Jacob Zuma has, on behalf of South Africa, championed the AU Heads of State's response in support of the proposal by the AU Commission for the establishment of an ACIR on the continent.

The proposal is in response to the ongoing challenges of peace and security that undermine democratically elected governments. Currently, the AU does not have such an immediate response mechanism as the process of implementing the African Peace and Security Architecture is ongoing.

This interim measure will further provide African countries with the flexibility to take concrete measures to address the challenges in the interim while allowing the process of operationalising the African Standby Force to take place.

South Africa's pledge for resources and capacity was followed by a substantial number of countries taking the floor in pledging their support and readiness to contribute to the interim mechanism.




War had led to the plundering of African resources.

South Africa will continue with its engagements in support of peace and stability in Africa to help ensure the food security and survival of the people of the continent.

Tabling her department's Budget Vote in Parliament in Cape Town on 23 May 2013, the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, said that Africa had enough resources to be shared for common prosperity, security and human development; however, poor governance, instability and war threatened the ability of the continent to harness this potential.

War had led to the plundering of African resources.

"The continued plundering of these resources is a direct threat to our future food security and survival. It is for this reason that we will continue our engagements in support of peace and stability on the continent." The Minister said South Africa had pledged to contribute a battalion to an envisaged intervention force for the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.



Subsequent phases, adding up to an eventual total capacity of 40 000 MW, will allow countries in southern Africa, north-east Africa and parts of west Africa to benefit from production at the site.

With South Africa confirmed as a key partner, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has announced October 2015 as the launch date for the construction of the first phase of what could eventually be the largest hydroelectric plant in the world. The Grand Inga Project on the Congo River is expected, once all the phases are complete, to generate a massive 40 000 MW of electricity, bringing renewable power to half of the African continent.

The initialling of a historic energy cooperation treaty between the DRC and South Africa in Lubumbashi in March was a key milestone in the process of bringing the project, first conceived in the early 1970s, closer to fruition. At a meeting in Paris, organised by the DRC Government and with a high-level South African delegation in attendance, a range of stakeholders consulted on the implementation of the first phase of the project, Inga 3, which is expected to cost in the region of US$12 billion and produce almost 4 800 MW of electricity. The Africa Development Bank, which has been involved in the project since 2009, is financing the base studies and consultants, and has been joined by the World Bank, the French Development Agency, the European Investment Bank and the Development Bank of Southern Africa.



Japan is an important export destination for South Africa. It is the third-largest export destination for South Africa as well as an important traditional trading partner.

The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), in partnership with the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi United Financial of Japan is hosting investment seminars in Yokohama, Japan, from 28 to 30 May 2013.

“The business seminars will give a chance to South African businesses to have bilateral business interactions with their counterparts in Japan,” said the Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies.

The seminars are a follow-up on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the dti and the bank in February this year. The aim of the MoU is to increase foreign direct investment from Japan into South Africa by supporting Japanese clients with market intelligence that will assist them to establish businesses locally.

South Africa’s export objectives in Japan aim to promote more value-added products from South Africa and diversify the trade balance away from traditional resource-related products. This would be done by focussing on manufactured goods in sectors such as agroprocessing, automotives, clothing, leather and textiles, metals beneficiation, chemicals and pharmaceuticals.


The exhibition will trace how Mandela built a new nation from the fragments of conflict, making full use of his strengths: love, persuasion, forgiveness and acute political acumen, "with a fair amount of self-deprecating humour sprinkled in for good measure".
The exhibition titled, Nelson Mandela – from Prisoner to President, produced by the Apartheid Museum in association with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, will be travelling to Europe, where multiple images of the icon will appear in Paris from 29 May to 6 July as part of the France-South Africa Seasons 2012 and 2013.

"We are delighted to present the exhibition Nelson Mandela: from Prisoner to President as one of the highlights of the opening week of the South African Season in France," said Bongani Tembe, South African commissioner-general for the Seasons.

The exhibition will be held at the Hôtel De Ville in Paris.

The France-South Africa Seasons sees the successful cultural exchange programme, which has taken place between France and Vietnam, Croatia, India, Russia and Brazil, come to sub-Saharan Africa for the first time.

The Seasons' aim is to foster a deeper mutual understanding and respect for the cultures of partner countries.

Events will run between May and December and will include, among other things, contemporary art, architecture, theatre, political discussions, literature, gastronomy, astronomy and sport.

During the opening week of the Season, from 28 May, the Eiffel Tower will be illuminated in the South African flag. This will be repeated from 15 to 21 July, to coincide with Mandela's birthday on 18 July.
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