Vote of Thanks by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation: Maite Nkoana-Mashabane at the Gala Dinner in Celebration of Africa Day: 29 May 2010

Your Excellency President Zuma
Hon. Colleagues of Cabinet
Your Excellency Commissioner Bience Gawanas
Hon. Members of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
Leader of the Opposition and Leaders of Political Parties
Hon. Premier of Gauteng and Their Worships, the Executive Mayors
Your Excellencies, Ambassadors and High Commissioners
Members of the Diplomatic corps,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

The Government and People of the Republic of South Africa are indeed greatly humbled and honoured by your presence on the occasion of the celebration of this auspicious and memorable 47th Africa Day under the theme Building and Maintaining Peace Through Sport in Africa.

On this occasion of the 47th Africa Day, we join with fellow Africans on the continent, the diaspora and the international community at large, to celebrate African unity and our achievements to date. This year is particularly significant as Africa braces itself to host the greatest sporting event in the world, the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the first ever on African soil. It is also a year of action as the African Union declared 2010 as the Year of Peace and Security in Africa. To this end, the World Cup provides the perfect platform to promote peace through Sport in Africa as we are all united in love for the game of football. So let us use this wonderful opportunity given to Africa to achieve a lasting legacy, PEACE!

Tonight, we are indebted and honored by the presence of our President, as host of this memorable continental event, as well as to the African Union Commission for the support and the partnership towards the successful hosting of this Africa Day Gala Dinner. I also wish to thank:

Our cabinet ministers in attendance; Hon. Members of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces; Leaders of the Opposition and Leaders of Political Parties; the Premier of Gauteng, including the 4 Executive Mayors; Members of the  Diplomatic Corp and you, ladies and gentlemen. Finally, I would like to take this opportunity of thanking everyone responsible for organizing this event, including our private sector service providers; particularly ABSA who live up to their slogan of “TODAY, TOMORROW, TOGETHER” for your hard work and logistical support.

Programme Director, ladies and gentlemen, we thank you for being with us this evening - it’s been an exhilarating African evening. Let us leave here not just proudly South Africa but proudly African!

Thank you and Goodnight

Please continue to enjoy the evening.

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