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Chief Directors Taking Stock of Czech-South African Cooperation

On April 15 2014, Director General for Non-European Countries of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ivan Jančárek, met his counterpart at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa, Chief Director for Central and Eastern Europe, Mr. Mzolisa Bona.

Their talks were a follow-up to the consultations of Deputy Minister Marius Fransman in May 2013 in Prague. Director General Jančárek praised South Africans for their achievements of the 20 years of democracy. He pointed out to the growing interest for Africa in the Czech business comunity. South Africa is the largest trading partner of the Czech Republic in Africa: the mutual trade turnover has increased tenfold over 10 years to the average level of 750 mil. USD a year. Czech companies attend fairs in South Africa regularly, for example this year the Czech Republic was or will be represented at Mining Indaba (February), Huntex (April), Africa Health (May), African Utility Week (May), Electra Mining (September) a Africa Aerospace and Defence (September).

Both partners highlighted close contacts between universities in the Czech Republic and South Africa proving a huge potential of cooperation in the area of education, science, research and technology. Chief Director Jančárek informed about Czech support provided to the construction of the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre. A part of the permanent exhibition will be devoted to a sad chapter in the Czech history, the occupation by the Nazi Germany. He also recalled the 20th anniversary of tragic events in Rwanda. The Czech Republic was then, in 1994, a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Our Permanent Representative, Mr. Karel Kovanda, was actually the first high-level official to publicly call the atrocities in Rwanda a genocide.