Daily Archives: July 10, 2016

India’s Modi Pays Tribute to Gandhi in South Africa

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi boarded a train Saturday in South Africa to commemorate a historic 19th-century confrontation that led independence icon Mahatma Gandhi to formulate his renowned policy of nonviolent disobedience.

Modi, on a four-nation African tour aimed at strengthening economic ties with the continent, traveled to the eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal, the home of most of South Africa’s 1.3 million people of Indian origin.

Gandhi was removed in 1893 from a train in the provincial capital, Pietermaritzburg, because of his race, after refusing to leave a first-class carriage. He later described the event as an insult that led him to resist racial segregation and other injustices both in South Africa and later in British India.

Modi told a large diaspora gathering in Johannesburg on Friday that Gandhi had “conceptualized” his politics of resistance in South Africa. He called the country “the birthplace of Satyagraha” – the policy of nonviolent struggle that led to India’s independence from British rule in 1947.

Both Modi and South African President Jacob Zuma paid tribute Friday to what Zuma called “two liberation icons”: Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, who was elected South Africa’s first black president in 1994.

The Indian leader’s itinerary, including visits to Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya, has been billed as a mission to raise India’s economic profile in Africa, where China has had an increasingly dominant role in trade.

China says its trade with Africa has grown tenfold in the past decade, approaching $300 billion last year.

Source: Voice of America

President Zuma arrives in France for State Visit

President Jacob Zuma has today, 10 July 2016, arrived in Paris in the French Republic for the State Visit aimed at further advancing relations between the two countries.

The visit will take place under theme Working together as equal partners to explore opportunities and address the challenges of the 21st Century”.

President Hollande visited South Africa in 2013 and the visit further cemented the warm relations between our two countries. The State Visit by President Zuma will build on that solid foundation.

The visit will provide a platform for both countries to improve cooperation in various areas including trade and investment, energy, maritime, agriculture, science and technology, education and skills development, arts and culture, defence, development cooperation and international relations.

Boosting economic relations and trade are high up on the agenda of the visit. France is an important trade, investment and tourism partner for South Africa. In 2015, the overall volume of trade amounted to R33.6 billion. France remains an important source of foreign direct investment for South Africa with an estimated investment volume of over 24 billion rand. According to the Department of Tourism, a total of 128 438 tourists from France visited South Africa in 2015, making France one of the highest sources of inward tourism.

The President will meet with the South Africa-France Business Forum, and will encourage French business to invest further in South Africa, with an emphasis on the expansion of investment and trade particularly in the sectors of agro-processing, financial services and defence industry.

The year 2016 marks the centenary of the Battle of Delville Wood, where thousands of soldiers died during World War One, especially those from the South African Infantry Brigade. The President will preside over the Commemoration of the Centenary of the Battle on Tuesday, 12 July 2016.

In preparation for the centenary celebrations, the Delville Wood memorial has been transformed in order to ensure that the historical role played by black South Africans in the First and Second World Wars is also accorded the necessary recognition as that given to white South Africans.

President Zuma will also receive the digitised Rivonia Trial dictabelts from the French government.

President Zuma will attend the UEFA Euro 2016 soccer final match between the host nation, France and Portugal in Paris at the invitation of President Hollande.

President Zuma is accompanied by Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane; Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies; Minister of Defence and Military Vetarans, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula; Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Bonginkosi Nzimande; Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa; Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Mr Senzeni Zokwana, the Minister of Public Works, Mr Thembelani “Thulas” Nxesi and the Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Mr Kebby Maphatsoe.

Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa