H.E. Erika Alvarez Rodriguez hosted a cocktail reception at the Residence in Pretoria to celebrate the 180th anniversary of the National Day of Independence for the Dominican Republic on 27th February 2024.

Welcoming Members of the Diplomatic Corps and distinguished guests, H.E. Erika Rodriguez thanked everyone for their attendance and for joining in to commemorate the special day for Dominicans.

With a journey of 180 years, the Dominican Republic is proud of its many achievements, which include continued democracy for more than 50 years, solid political stability, robust government institutions, sustainable economic growth, and faith in the strength to continue working together to address their challenges.

The Dominican Republic and the Republic of South Africa formally established diplomatic relations on 9th May 2002, and 6 years later, the first Dominican Embassy was opened in Pretoria. Since then, the two countries have been fostering a solid relationship in accordance with the values of freedom, equality, justice, peace, and sustainable development in the common goals for human rights.

The recent visit of the South African delegation led by Deputy Minister Mr. Alvin Botes to the Dominican Republic was a unique opportunity to consider initiatives and cooperation projects of mutual interest. The signature of the bilateral visa accession agreement for official passports is an example in this regard.

On 11th February 2024, the Dominican Republic commemorated the day that H.E. Mr. Nelson Mandela was released from prison by unveiling a bust of the former President in honor of his fight against oppression in South Africa and his engagement for the recognition of human rights around the world.

“This will serve as a reminder for Dominicans and the world of his legacy of equality, peace, dialogue, and mutual understanding.”

The dynamic and diverse economy of the Dominican Republic includes sectors such as mining, agriculture, renewable energy, and manufacturing. The economy has stood as one of the most resilient on the American continent in the last two decades, shown in the yearly growth rate of gross domestic product which continues to grow despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

A record of more than 10 million tourists visited the country in 2023, making it a leading tourist destination for visitors from around the world.

In closing, H.E. Erika Rodriguez expressed that she looks forward to advancing the Diplomatic agenda for the benefit of both nations while serving her term in South Africa.

Mr. Daan du Toit, Deputy Director-General of International Cooperation and Resources, congratulated the Dominican Republic on behalf of the government of South Africa.

South Africa views the Dominican Republic as an important and strategic partner, specifically as an integral member of the African diaspora which the African Union embraces.

The unveiling of the bust of H.E. Mr. Nelson Mandela by the Mayor of Santo Domingo East Municipality, Manuel Jimenez, and the renaming of the street to Nelson Mandela Boulevard in the Dominican Republic is symbolic of the longstanding relationship between the two countries.

The event concluded with the wishing of prosperity and well-being to the people of both countries.

by Marion Kate