MINISTER ÖZER ATTENDED THE RECEPTION HELD ON THE OCCASION OF THE NATIONAL HERITAGE DAY OF SOUTH AFRICAMinister of National Education Özer attended the reception held on the Occasion of the National Heritage Day of South Africa
The reception was organized on the occasion of National Heritage Day of South Africa which cherishes cultural diversity and unity of the country and was hosted by South African Ambassador to Ankara H.E. Bertha Dipuo-Duba.
Minister Özer expressed his happiness to attend the reception organized on the 28th anniversary of National Heritage Day on behalf of the Republic of Türkiye.
Özer noted during his speech at the reception that the independence of the Republic of South Africa and Cultural Heritage Day are inseparable and celebrated together this year adding that, "Struggle and determination of South African people to collapse Apartheid under the leadership of Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress left a mark in the history. Values that the South African people advocated such as freedom, equality, democracy and rejection of all kinds of discrimination are the universal values for building a better world."
Stressing that the independence and democracy in South Africa is an inspiration for all countries, Özer said, "Long and hard struggle for the independence of South Africa did not prevent its people from embracing rich and diverse cultural heritage and this makes the South Africa example more valuable. Within this framework, we consider South Africa as a key partner in Africa and beyond."
Reminding that Türkiye and South Africa have developed a multi-dimensional cooperation model based on mutual respect in the last 20 years, Özer said, "3rd Türkiye-Africa Partnership Summit hosted by President Erdoğan and held in İstanbul last December displayed the strategic level of our relations with Africa. Hence, our Africa policy matured and the summit marked the beginning of a new ear. In 2002, there were only12 Turkish Embassies in the continent and today there are 44 embassies. We are aiming at increasing this number to 49. Meanwhile, the number of African Country Embassies in our country was 10 in 2008 and now it is 38. Our trade volume with Africa, which was 5.4 billion dollars in 2003, reached 34.5 billion recently."
"Total value of the project in Africa contracted to Türkiye exceeds 80 billion dollars. South Africa is our biggest trade partner in sub-Saharan Africa and the trade volume between our countries was more than 2 billion dollars last year. The Mixed Economic Commission (KEK) is a suitable platform for taking new steps. I look forward to playing host to the fourth meeting which will be co-chaired by Türkiye and South Africa. Our common vision about global issues plays an important role in the development of our relations. We are also happy to make contributions to the food safety of Africa after the meeting in İstanbul about the grain corridor from Ukraine under the leadership of our President," said Özer.
Director General for EU and Foreign Affairs Hasan Ünsal accompanied Özer at the reception.