Address by HE Ms. Liubov Abravitova Ambassador Designate of Ukraine to the Republic of South Africa on the occasion
of 29th Anniversary of Independence Day of Ukraine.
Every year on the 24 of August, Ukrainians around the world celebrate the most important national holiday – Ukraine’s Independence Day, reistablishment of the democratic state, one of the biggest country in Europe.
This day is a cause for pride and a remarkable achievement of my people who were struggling for thousand years for the right of Ukrainians to have their own State. Meantime it is the day of memory of those generations of people who were establishing nation and defended its statehood. That gives me a great responsibility for the future of my country, for our next generations and our join responsibility for the history that is happening now.
Today, Ukraine continues to defend its independence and territorial integrity in the fight against the external enemy. We continue to assert our independence through everyday hardworking, science and intelligence, education and art. That’s why having genes of freedom and intelligence, Ukraine has always been shared its achievements with the world.
With 33% of the world’s black soil concentrated in Ukraine, a favourable climate and proximity to key markets, Ukraine is becoming an agriculture export powerhouse. Known as the “breadbasket of Europe”, Ukraine is unshakably moving towards becoming a “food basket” of the world and a major player in providing food security globally.
The Republic of South Africa is an important partner of Ukraine. With South Africa we share the same values of freedom and democracy, Ukraine gave its both hands to SA in its struggle for democracy, hundreds of South Africans graduated from Ukrainian Institutes and Universities. For 28 years of diplomatic relations with SA we achieved a solid bilateral legal base which is a great platform to continue to strengthen our relationship.
South Africa is one of Ukraine’s biggest trade partners in the region of sub-Saharan Africa. According to Ukrainian statistics, in 2019 commodities trade turnover between our countries totalled 123,1 million USD. In this regard we believe that the potential of bilateral relations in the trade and economic area is far from being exhausted and we are working towards creation favourable environment to boost this cooperation.
Already we see great interest from both Ukrainian and South African businesses not only in the fields of agriculture and food industry, but also engineering, especially shipbuilding, IT, mining, machinery, etс.
Ukraine and South Africa have the same goal – to achieve prosperity and wellbeing for our people, I am confident, than through our joint efforts and bilateral cooperation we will reach our goals despite of all challenges of contemporary world.
In this globalized environement the distance doesn’t matter anymore, and due to the joint scientific, humanitarian and cultural projects we are becoming even closer today. Already, starting from August 14th 2020, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine introduced electronic visas (e-Visa) for nationals of South Africa. This is the next step toward liberalization of visa regime between Ukraine and the Republic of South Africa. This decision was taken by Ukrainian Side in order to further develop bilateral relations with our partner – the RSA as well to bring our nations closer.
I am proud Ukraine is becoming visible and recognizable in SA, as well as Ukrainians are already well aware about this incredible country. Ukrainian Association in SA, which is the organisation of Ukrainians and supporters of Ukraine is becoming more and more active and creative, two Ukrainian schools are functioning in SA already, we even have the only Ukrainian Museum in Sub-Saharan Africa, located in Riversdale!
Today, when all Ukrainians in all the World are celebrating Independence Day of Ukraine, I would like to wish to all of us – may the source of faith, hope and love for our Motherland be inexhaustible! Let us not give up in the face of new challenges. Let`s build a better world for our new generations.
Glory to Ukraine!
Glory to our Heroes!