New Zealand Prime Minister’s Special Envoys visits to Southern Africa Sir Don McKinnon, Prime Minister’s Special Envoy New Zealand Prime Minister’s Special Envoy Sir Don McKinnon visited Angola, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland during March to promote New Zealand’s bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council in 2015-16. He was accompanied by High Commissioner Richard Mann. As a former New Zealand Foreign Minister and Commonwealth Secretary-General, Sir Don McKinnon enjoys close personal relationships with many African leaders. On this visit he met Angola’s President José Eduardo Dos Santos, Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba, King Letsie III and Prime Minister Tom Thabane in Lesotho, King Mswati III of Swaziland and South African Deputy Foreign Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim. African leaders recognised New Zealand’s contribution to their independence and political freedom, such as sending peacekeepers to Angola and Namibia, and New Zealand’s support for South Africans’ struggle against apartheid. As President Pohamba said, “we do not forget those countries that stood with us in our dark times.” The visit also demonstrated the strength of New Zealand’s Commonwealth connections with many African countries.
Sir Don McKinnon and His Majesty King Letsie III of the Kingdom of Lesotho
Sir Don McKinnon and Angolan President Hon. José Eduardo dos Santos
Ambassador Colin Keating, Prime Minister’s Special Envoy The High Commission also welcomed Ambassador Colin Keating, Prime Minister’s Special Envoy and New Zealand Permanent Representative to the United Nations when New Zealand was last on the UN Security Council in 1994. Ambassador Keating visited Pretoria in April to undertake a range of Africa and peace and security consultations with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, as well as touching base with the Institute for Security Studies on African issues.
Pretoria: African Union Handbook launch High Commissioner Richard Mann hosted members of the African diplomatic corps in Pretoria to a launch of the African Union Handbook, with remarks by the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy and former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Sir Don McKinnon. The reception enjoyed solid turnout from a range of local officials and African Heads of Mission, who were uniformly supportive of New Zealand’s collaboration with the African Union to publish the Handbook and our engagement in Africa more broadly. Sir Don spoke of his long history with the continent as New Zealand Foreign Minister and then as Secretary General of the Commonwealth, and highlighted his own personal pride in New Zealand’s work with Africa. The Handbook is a joint effort between New Zealand and the African Union, and is available for download on the AU website: http://www.au.int/en/ High Commissioner Richard Mann and Prime Minster’s Special Envoy Sir Don McKinnon
Commonwealth Law Ministers’ meeting, Botswana New Zealand Minister of Courts and Associate Justice Minister Hon Chester Borrows attended the Commonwealth Law Ministers’ meeting in Gaborone, Botswana in early May. He was accompanied by High Commissioner Richard Mann. The theme of the conference was “Consolidating the rule of law and human rights in the Commonwealth”. Minister Borrows held meetings with Botswanan Foreign Minister Phandu Skelemani and Justice Minister Dikgakgamatso Seretse while in Gaborone.
High Commissioner Richard Mann, Hon. Dikgakgamatso Sereste, Botswana Minister of Defense, Justice and Security, and the Hon Chester Borrows, New Zealand Minister for Courts and Associate Minister of Justice.
Hon Chester Borrows, Hon Phandu Sekelmani, Botswana Minister of Foreign Affairs and High Commissioner Richard Mann
They discussed the warm bilateral relations between the two countries and our forthcoming partnership in agricultural training, as well as sharing experience on justice and rehabilitation issues. Minister Seretse said that Botswana had benchmarked New Zealand in developing some law and order policies. Minister Borrows was impressed with Botswana’s economic and social development, as a successful middle income country in Africa.
New Zealand High Commissioner presents credentials in Malawi and Swaziland Richard Mann presented credentials to former Malawian President Joyce Banda as New Zealand’s first High Commissioner accredited to the Republic of Malawi. The credentials ceremony took place in the Kamuzu State House in Lilongwe on 6 March. “President Banda was keen to discuss possibilities for agricultural cooperation with New Zealand. She said that when she thought of New Zealand, she thought of livestock. She wanted to increase the number of livestock in Malawi to provide better nutrition for her people.”
Photo: Swaziland Observer
While in Lilongwe, Mann met with former Foreign Minister Ephraim Chiume to discuss Malawi’s economic development, as well as peace and security issues in Africa.
High Commissioner Mann also presented credentials to King Mswati III of Swaziland on 20 March. “The King was dressed in traditional Swazi warrior clothing (emahiya), and we had a warm conversation about our Commonwealth links and support for the development of Swaziland’s Constitution.” King Mswati III said that “anything New Zealand does, you do with sincerity and confidence.” Mann briefed His Majesty on NZ Aid funded agricultural projects in Swaziland. He met separately with Swazi Foreign Minister Chief Mgwagwa Gamedze who outlined Swaziland’s plans for economic development.
Kenyan Parliamentary Service Commission visits New Zealand A delegation from the Kenyan Parliamentary Service Commission visited New Zealand in May to learn about the structure and organisation of the New Zealand Parliament. The delegation met with Speaker of Parliament Rt Hon David Carter and Clerk of the House of Representatives Mary Harris, as well as Members of Parliament belonging to the Africa-New Zealand Friendship Group. The discussions covered the management of the New Zealand Parliament, services available to parliamentarians, and public outreach activities including the way in which select committees engage with the public.
Members of the Parliamentary Service Commission of Kenya meet with Rt Hon David Carter, Speaker of the House and Mary Harris, Clerk of the House of Representatives
New Zealand shares experience of electoral system with Lesotho Deputy High Commissioner Danie Beukman visited Lesotho in May to discuss plans for an upcoming electoral study tour to New Zealand. Lesotho has adopted a Mixed Member Proportional voting system (MMP) modelled on New Zealand’s, and held its first elections under MMP in 2012.
Beukman and the Hon. Mothetjoa Metsing, Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho
The Lesotho delegation, funded and organised by the Commonwealth Secretariat, will visit New Zealand in late June and focus on New Zealand’s own experience with MMP since 1996. This follows a visit by New Zealand parliamentarians to Maseru last year.
New Honorary Consuls appointed in Zambia and Kenya The High Commission is pleased to announce the appointment in April of Mr Mark O’Donnell to the position of Honorary Consul for New Zealand in Zambia. Mark is the first person to hold this post for New Zealand in Lusaka, and demonstrates the increasing ties between New Zealand and Zambia. As well as being a well-known businessman and investor, Mark is also Chairman of the Zambian Tourism Authority. He looks forward to hearing from Kiwis in Zambia, and can be contacted at : Office Suite, 2nd floor, Protea Hotel Arcades, Lusaka, Zambia Tel: (+ 260) 211 252 402/5/6 Fax: (+ 260) 211 252 441 E-mail: [email protected]
Mark O’Donnell, New Zealand Honorary Consul to the Republic of Zambia
——————————————————————————————————————————————————— The High Commission is also pleased to announce the appointment of Stewart Henderson to the position of New Zealand’s Honorary Consul in Kenya. This appointment allows us to build upon the strong ongoing ties between New Zealand and Kenya. Stewart is well known in business and advisory board circles. He is the current Chairman of the Eastern Africa Association whose objectives are to assist and promote foreign investment in the region. Kenya is going through interesting times. As a regional hub, and with the recent discoveries of oil and gas within Kenya, Nairobi is uniquely placed for business opportunities. Stewart is looking forward to hearing from Kiwis in Kenya, and can be contacted at: 2nd floor, Block B, Nairobi Business Park, Ngong Road, Nairobi, Kenya Tel: (+254) 20 8045100 /1 Email: [email protected]
Stewart Henderson, New Zealand Honorary Consul to the Republic of Kenya
South Africa: elections South Africa held its 5th democratic elections on 7 May. The election was South Africa’s largest yet, with more than 22,000 polling stations open throughout the country. For such a large logistical operation, the Independent Election Commission ran a smooth, mostly trouble free operation that allowed more than 18 million voters to cast their votes throughout the day. High Commissioner Richard Mann was accredited as an official observer to the elections, and spent the day visiting a range of polling stations around Pretoria and checking in to the National Results Operation Centre, the elections nerve centre. High Commission staff Danie Beukman and Ed McIsaac also spoke with voters at polling stations in Atteridgeville near Pretoria. High Commissioner Mann represented New Zealand at the inauguration of President Jacob Zuma on 24 May, and the President’s State of the Nation Address to the 5th democratic parliament in Cape Town on 17 June.
Voters queue to cast their votes
National Results Centre , Pretoria
Tanzanian athletes train in New Zealand Three up-and-coming Tanzanian runners arrived in New Zealand in May to train for the Commonwealth Games; in early June they were joined by five Tanzanian swimmers competing in the September games. The athletes were accompanied by Athletics Tanzania Secretary General Suleiman Nyambui and Tanzania Olympic Committee Secretary General Filbert Bayi. Bayi famously set the 1500 metre world record in the 1974 Commonwealth Games, beating New Zealand’s own Sir John Walker, who also came in under the world record that day.
Walker and Bayi, Commonwealth Games, 1974
Bayi and Nyambui enjoyed a reunion with Dick Quax (Olympic silver medallist and former 5,000 metre world record holder) and with Arch Jelley, long-time coach of Sir John Walker), while sharing stories with Adrian Blincoe (NZ 5,000 metre record holder).
(from left) Sir John Walker, Suleiman Nyambui, Filbert Bayi
Africa regional trade integration In April, Second Secretary Ed McIsaac visited Gaborone, Botswana, to meet with the Secretariat of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), diplomatic colleagues, and Botswana officials, to discuss issues related to regional economic integration and development. New Zealand is a strong believer in the benefits of regional economic integration, and has concluded trade agreements with many countries, mainly in the Asia-Pacific, including Australia, China, Chile and Singapore, as well as with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). New Zealand is currently involved in negotiations towards the Trans Pacific Partnership, involving a diverse array of countries, including Viet Nam, Malaysia, Japan and the United States. There is growing interest in New Zealand McIsaac meeting with representatives from Botswana’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, including Chief Negotiator about the various trade initiatives in Africa, including Phazha Butale (third from right). regional economic communities such as SADC, the East Africa Community (EAC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). These regional initiatives have been successful in reducing customs duties between African countries, thus allowing for a greater flow in intra-African goods trade. They also provide a forum for helping resolve non-tariff measures between African countries (such as customs procedures or product rules on health and safety). But there are mixed levels of ambition. The EAC for example, comprising Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda, is generally regarded as the most progressive and committed to liberalisation. SADC’s Deputy Executive Secretary for Regional Integration Dr Themba Mhlongo advised that SADC was keen to better implement existing commitments to ensure more meaningful and beneficial integration. SADC also wanted to prioritise trade in services (only Botswana has so far ratified this Protocol) and the simplification of rules around trade in goods.
McIsaac with SADC Deputy Executive Secretary Dr Mhlongo (left) and Senior Customs Officer Willie Shumba (right).
Leaders from the EAC, SADC and COMESA have now agreed that the three communities should come together under a larger trade regime (the ‘tri-partite FTA’), which would comprise 26 countries and stretch from Egypt to South Africa. The aim is to make doing business easier and foster greater growth and opportunity in areas such as infrastructure development, goods, services and the movement of business people. The African Union has also endorsed a plan for this 'tri-partite FTA’ to merge with the Economic Community of West African States by 2017 to form a continental-wide Africa FTA. Getting the building blocks right for an Africa FTA will require even more ambition and effort from African countries. If this can occur, however, then the results may represent an exciting opportunity for New Zealand.
Business profile: Kiwi King Since 1996 John Rahme has been the face of New Zealand kiwifruit in South Africa, with his company, ‘Kiwi King’, overseeing a flourishing and growing trade in New Zealand’s largest horticultural export to South Africa. John operates out of Johannesburg and is one of two Zespri agents in the country (the other being Fruit and Veg City International, based in Cape Town). Total retail sales of New Zealand ‘kiwis’ (as John calls them) in South Africa was around ZAR45 million in 2013.
New Zealand company Zespri International Limited is the world’s largest marketer of kiwifruit, selling into more than 53 countries and managing 30% of global volume. Zespri’s global headquarters is based in the heart of New Zealand’s largest kiwifruit producing region, the Bay of Plenty. John has seen good growth in South African demand for Zespri kiwifruit. There has been a 20% growth in demand in the 2013/14 NZ growing season, as compared to the previous year. John expects similar rates of growth for the 2014/15 season, which began in June. From Kiwi King’s cold stores in City Deep, Zespri kiwifruit are supplied to the major South African supermarket chains, including Checkers, Pick n’ Pay and Woolworths. Says John: ‘we are working hard to increase South African shoppers’ brand awareness for the New Zealand fruit. It’s a great product, tasty and with good nutritional benefits. What growing sales from the last few years are showing is that, even with the challenges of a low rand, consumers are making kiwifruit an important part of their grocery spend’. John notes that sales into other southern African markets such as Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, Kenya and Ghana, that traditionally took few kiwifruit, have grown with the help of recent visits and promotions. On 19 June Kiwi King launched a new varietal of kiwifruit in South Africa, the SunGold, which will provide another healthy and tasty option for South African shoppers. John expects good sales of this new type of fruit, which has been developed through ten years of research and cross breeding of kiwi cultivars by Zespri and New Zealand food scientists.
You can find out more about Zespri at www.zespri.com and about Kiwi King at http://kiwiking.wozaonline.co.za/home.
If you are a New Zealand company doing business, or looking to do business in South Africa or the region, or a South African company looking to acquire New Zealand products or services for markets in Africa, please contact us at [email protected] or +27 12 435 9016.
Kiwi King Director John Rahme at his kiwifruit stores in Johannesburg
New Zealand supports nutrition and agriculture in Rwanda and Ethiopia The New Zealand Government is partnering with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) and the ELMA Foundation to support the governments of Rwanda and Ethiopia to reduce malnutrition and increase agricultural incomes. The project aims to reduce the incidence of chronic malnutrition, or stunting, among children under five and improve the nutrition of pregnant and lactating women. Farmers from the Kobanya Cooperative meet with New Zealand Aid Programme and Clinton Health Access Initiative staff at their grain storage facility in Gatsibo, Rwanda
This will be achieved through the local production and distribution of a fortified complementary food to children from 6-23 months.
New Zealand is supporting the agricultural component that will increase yields of small holder farmers who will supply the factory, through access to finance, inputs, improved production methods and post-harvest systems.
Cooperative members collecting seeds and fertilizers from their local storage facility
New Zealand trains sheep shearers in Eastern Cape For three years New Zealand shearing contractor Allen Gemmell has been training sheep shearers in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. The aim of this NZ Aid project has been to increase rural incomes through the transfer of specialist shearing techniques, improved maintenance of shearing equipment and more efficient wool pressing systems. High Commissioner Richard Mann visited the Eastern Cape in June to talk to local farmers about the results of the project. “I met with the heads of five shearing sheds. They proudly showed me their financial returns from the recent season which showed an increase in their incomes. For example, Allen Gemmell training local sheep shearers they are now using wool presses that can pack 180 kg bales, compared to 110 kg before. This means lower handling and marketing costs, so they get more money for their wool.” “The project has exceeded its targets in terms of the number of shearers trained. Shearers from the Eastern Cape have also won international shearing competitions, another sign of success.”
Women classing wool
“I was joined on my visit by representatives of national agricultural training institution Agriseta and the National Wool Growers Association. These organisations will continue to support the Eastern Cape sheep farmers,” said Mann.
English Language Training for African Officials (ELTO)
Farewell event for English Language Training for African Officials, pictured here with Amanda Ellis (New Zealand’s Permanent Representative to Geneva and Special Envoy)
The second English Language Training for African Officials (ELTO) Africa course was held between 31 March – 23 May recently concluded in New Zealand. 14 Foreign Affairs officials from the following African countries successfully completed the second course: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Gabon, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique and Tunisia. The group has built solid links with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade during the programme. Guest speakers included Colin Keating, who spoke on his experience of the UN in relation to the Rwanda genocide and lessons learned since. Weekend trips were a highlight for many and gave the officials the opportunity to learn more about New Zealand’s history, culture, geography and economy.
Key outcomes of the ELTO course included:
Improved English language skills which will enable participants to represent their countries at international fora where English is the medium of communication
An improved understanding of New Zealand and New Zealand culture
Enhanced relationships between participants, their countries and with New Zealand
New Zealand Special Envoy Amanda Ellis recently visited the President of Gabon and met with Mr Hans Diaba and Ms Myriam Azizet from Gabon who both participated in the second ELTO course
Shoes for Morija Primary School, Lesotho The High Commissioner’s spouse, Michelle Mann, returned to Lesotho in March to give art workshops to local schoolchildren, as part of a regular programme with the Morija Arts Centre. Many budding young artists were discovered during the week, and the group of diplomatic spouses from Pretoria was almost overwhelmed by the numbers of children eager to participate! Michelle also presented 100 pairs of leather school shoes to the Morija Primary School on behalf of the High Commission, to be distributed to children who walk several kilometres to school each day via mountain paths. Michelle Mann and a student from the Morija Primary wearing her new shoes
The children treated the group to a display of traditional Basotho dances
The shoes were funded by the Head of Mission Fund.
Anzac Day commemorated in Africa New Zealand’s national day of Remembrance, Anzac Day, was commemorated in many places throughout Africa on April 25. The New Zealand High Commission organised this year’s commemoration in Pretoria, which saw a larger number than usual of people attending, while New Zealanders and Australians gathered at cemeteries and memorials across Africa to remember their fallen and their veterans.
SOUTH AFRICA: Freedom Park, Pretoria SOUTH AFRICA: New Zealand High Commissioner H.E. Richard Mann, Capt. Charles H Ross (retd) - background
KENYA: New Zealand Honorary Consul, Mr Stewart Henderson, pays his respects.
ZIMBABWE: Turkish Ambassador H.E. Kemal Demirciler, New Zealand Community Coordinator, Mr Murray Black, Australian Ambassador H.E. Matthew Neuhaus, Head of European delegation to the Republic of Zimbabwe, H.E. Aldo Dell'Ariccia
More information about the significance of Anzac Day is available at: www.nzhistory.net.nz/war/anzac-day introduction or www.anzac.govt.nz NAMIBIA: Australian Honorary Consul, Mr Ed Humphrey
International Diplomatic Spouses' Association Charity Bazaar On 31 May, the New Zealand High Commission participated in the International Diplomatic Spouses' Association Charity Bazaar, held in Pretoria. The handmade NZ wool Christmas decorations at our stall were a hit, as were the delicious gingerbread Kiwi cookies. All were made by the High Commissioner’s spouse, Michelle Mann. Proceeds from the Bazaar will go to women’s and children’s charities in South Africa. Pictured are High Commissioner Richard Mann and Deputy High Commissioner Danie Beukman peddling their Kiwi wares.
Immigration New Zealand visits Nigeria Immigration New Zealand’s Dan Smidt and Jon Hann (both based at the High Commission in Pretoria) recently undertook a visit to Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria. Dan and Jon met with several Nigerian government departments and the United Nations International Organisation for Migration.
(from left) Dan Smidt, Branch Manager and Jon Hann, Immigration Risk Analyst
The visit has already proved valuable as it has increased INZ’s interaction with the Nigerian migrant market, with the intention of securing entry of further high-quality African students and professionals into New Zealand.
5 facts about Africa
Africa is the second largest of the earth’s seven continents and makes up approximately 22% of the earth’s total land area.
Africa is the most centrally located of all of the continents with both the prime meridian (0 degrees longitude) and the equator (0 degrees latitude) passing through it.
The African continent has the second largest population in the world, at about one billion people, and in many African states, more than half of the population is under the age of 25.
While Africa makes up about 16% of the world’s population, fully one quarter of the world’s languages are spoken only in Africa. It is estimated that well over one thousand languages are spoken by the people of Africa.
The oldest human remains ever discovered were found in Ethiopia. They are approximately 200,000 years old. 12