Issue 83 | 30 October 2013
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Annual Diplomatic Fair 2013 celebrates diversity and 50 years of the OAU/AU!


The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), in partnership with the City of Tshwane, hosted the annual Diplomatic Fair at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Saturday, 26 October 2013. This year’s event was themed: “Celebrating 50 Years of the OAU/AU – Embracing Diversity, Tolerance, Unity and Pan-Africanism” and was held during what was declared OR Tambo Month by the department.


This year’s Diplomatic Fair attracted over 70 participants from diplomatic missions accredited to South Africa and United Nations agencies.  South African business and other government departments also participated in the massive exhibition which was attended by over 7 000 people. The Fair gave the diplomatic community the opportunity to share information about their histories, cultures, traditions and cuisine with members of the public, bringing diplomacy directly to the people.

The day was filled with music and saw a number of artists from across the world performing their national dances as well as well-known South African artists such as Black Coffee and The Soil. In true South African style, the South African stall was equipped with plasma screens to allow ardent soccer fans to watch the Soweto Derby while taking in the sights, sounds and cultures from across the globe.

And the winners were …

Members of DIRCO Senior Management judged the stalls exhibiting at the Fair, with the Heads of Mission later being awarded their trophies by the Honourable Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mme Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, and the Acting Mayor of Tshwane, Cllr Joshua Ngonyama, at the Diplomatic Fair Gala Dinner, held at the Sheraton Hotel on Saturday night. The winners were:

  • Most Creative Stall: China
  • Most Entertaining Stall: Cuba
  • Most Culturally Informative Stall: Gabon.

The OR Tambo Award for Overall Best Stall went to Gabon.

With all the effort, colour and creativity that the missions had put into their stalls, it was decided that two categories would be added to the prize-giving ceremony, namely: the Tastiest Stall, which was a tie between Suriname and Italy; and the Most Artistic Stall, which was a tie between the Philippines and Senegal.

It was truly a day to be remembered and fun times were had by all! DIRCO looks forward to an even bigger and better Diplomatic Fair in 2014 to celebrate South Africa’s 20 years of diplomatic relations!

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