The 213th Anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Colombia was celebrated on the 21 July 2023 in Pretoria.
H.E Ms Maria del Rosario Mina-Rojas
Ambassador Designate of Colombia to South Africa warmly welcomed guests.
Acknowledgments included Ms Lydia Sindisiwe Chikunga National minister of transport, Ms Rirhandza Mashava deputy director general integrated transport planning , H.E. Salih Omar Abdu, Dean of the diplomatic corps and Ambassador of the state of Eritrea as well as heads of Missions and other distinguished guests.
The relationship between Colombia and South Africa extends through shared histories, values and a dynamic blend of cultures. As an active participant in the International community, Colombia has supported South Africa’s struggle and PAN Africa leadership particularly during their chair of the non alignment in the 1990’s. In this role Colombia rigorously advocated for restoring democracy and freedom in the resilient nation.
The commencement of diplomatic relations in 1994 between Colombia and South Africa and subsequent inauguration of the embassy in 1995 symbolised Colombia’s enduring commitment with a south to south partnership.
This commitment was echoed and amplified with the Africa /South America summit cementing the spirit of unity and mutual co operation.
Colombia seeks to contribute on their momentum of transformation by establishing a strong voice and effective actions in global dialogue addressing the worlds most pressing issues.
Today one of Colombia’s top priorities is the climate crisis a shared global concern. Severely impacted , Colombia is a leading voice for these issues. Colombia is rising to this challenge and becoming a beacon for countries world wide with their ambitious plan to restore the Amazon and Pacific rain forest .
Not only is Colombia’s national development plan harmonised with the UNs agenda 2030 but also with the African Union’s agenda 2063 under the sustainable developmental goals.
Further diplomatic missions will be established on the African continent , starting with Ethiopia and Senegal. H.E.
Francia Márquez, Vice president of Colombia and the first women of African descent in this role in the country has crafted a dedicated Colombia foreign policy for Africa, this strategy was initiated during her inaugural tour with South Africa as her first port of call . In this significant tour H.E. Francia Márquez met H.E. Paul Mashatile vice President of South Africa , who described it as a crucial and historical bilateral meeting which included H.E Naledi Pandor minister of International relations and cooperation .
This visit created tangible results forging a strong bond between the people of both nations.
Another area of focus is higher education , Colombia has already given 15 fully paid scholarships to students from South Africa to study in Colombian universities .
Ms Rirhandza Mashava reiterated the words spoken by the chargé d’affaires of Colombia confirming the strong relationship between the two nations and the building of the south to south bridge.
When speeches ended guests enjoyed some rhythms of Colombia with vibrant colours and ladies performing cultural dances to traditional music.
To the prosperity of Colombia and its people , happy National Day.
by Marion Kate