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Speech by South African Ambassador in Equatorial Guinea, His Excellency Mr P.A Sifuba during Freedom Day Celebration

Speech : 27 April 2012
Place  :   Hilton Hotel (Malabo)

Your Excellency Salomon Nguema Owono, Vice-Prime Minister

Your Excellency Minister of Education and Science

Your Excellency Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism

Your Excellency Deputy Minister of Mines, Industry and Energy

Your Excellency Secretary of State and Consular Services

Your Excellencies and Members of the Diplomatic Corps accredited in the Republic of Equatorial Guinea

Representatives of the International Organisations

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentleman

Let me take this opportunity to extend on behalf of myself as Ambassador of South Africa in Equatorial Guinea, together with my fellow South African staff our sincere gratitude and a warm welcome to all who have joined us today here as we celebrate one of our historic millstones in the calendar of our national events, which is the Freedom Day.

Honorable Ministers and Excellencies,

As I speak here today, I have no doubt that millions of South Africans in South Africa and across oceans to nations have joined together to observe this important day in our history and struggle for social emancipation and freedom.  Freedom Day is annually celebrated in the South Africa’s calendar of events. Freedom Day is meant to commemorate the first democratic elections held in South Africa on 27 April 1994.

Honorable Ministers and Excellencies,

Freedom Day celebrations for South Africa serve as a reminder of the struggle for a free, just and democratic society. It is an occasion where we reflect deeply on our transition from apartheid to an inclusive democracy, which has been internationally acclaimed.

On this day we recommit ourselves to heal the divisions of the past and firmly establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and respect for fundamental human rights.
There is hope as we have made incredible progress in the past 18 years. We have broadened access to basic services previously denied to most and made sure that many more people can participate in the economy.

Millions of lives have been improved since 1994, but we know that we need to continue the struggle against unemployment, poverty and crime. Our goal remains to half poverty and unemployment by 2014.

We can overcome our fractured past and its legacy if all sectors of society take responsibility to create a unified and caring society.

We all have a responsibility to ensure that our democracy and freedom is maintained and strengthened for future generations.

Programme director,

The theme of this occasion, and as expressed by our President His Excellency Jacob Zuma during his State of Nation Address in Parliament, for this year’s celebrations the theme is: “Working Together to Build Unity and Prosperity for All”.

Honorable Ministers and Excellencies,

It is without doubt that this celebration will not be complete without the mention of one of the greatest State Man in the history of South Africa, Africa and indeed the world over, Mr Nelson Rolihlahla Madiba Mandela and many other heroes who sacrificed  their lives to bring us change and democracy

As we celebrate this historic day we also pay indeed our admiration to all South Africans and our Friends all over the African continent and around the world. I feel obliged to send our sincere and humble appreciation to all those that were with us in diverse forms during those bad days of apartheid.

It is indeed important for me to congratulate the government and the people of Equatorial Guinea for the successful hosting of the 2012 Afcon Tournament. I should say that the National Team, Nzalang was a sensational surprise to many. I have no doubt that its performance made the people of Equatorial Guinea more united behind their flag and as a nation.

Perhaps, I should also use this occasion to announce officially that our country is the next host of the Afcon Tournament in 2013. We have learned a thing or two from Nzalang National team in the spirit of National pride as a host and I hope our National Football Team, Bafana Bafana would have also drawn a lesson from the performance by Nzalang, National Team.

It is also highly important, Honorable Ministers and Excellencies, for me to mention that South Africa has always committed itself to working together with all fellow Africans and the world in general. By so saying, South Africa’s bilateral relations with the host country, Equatorial Guinea are fast growing stronger and stronger. It is indeed my work and of course our collective responsibility to ensure that indeed our relations take the rightful height and position as we expect them to.   

Honorable Ministers, you would recall that sometimes this year, we will have a Joint Cooperation Commission which will see both our Foreign Ministers bolster this formation with the signing of agreements as well as the endorsement by both our Presidents.

In conclusion, your Excellencies let me reiterate our humble and sincere gratitude for your presence in our midst and that we indeed appreciate your company.

I thank you

Mucho Gracias

Merci beaucoup


H.E. Amb P.A.Sifuba
Head of Mission
Malabo Embassy
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