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The 21st century is Africa’s century.- Mary Robinson

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Meeting of Parliamentary Group Poland – Republic of South Africa (RSA) with the RSA Ambassador Mr Lehlohonolo Shadrack Ted Pekane

May 9, 2013 until May 9, 2012

Meeting of Parliamentary Group Poland - Republic of South Africa (RSA) with the RSA Ambassador Mr Lehlohonolo Shadrack Ted Pekane

On 9 May, the Parliamentary Group Poland-South Africa, held a meeting with His Excellency Mr. Lehlohonolo Shadrack Ted Pekane, Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa in Warsaw.  The Group was established in March this year and aims to develop the parliamentary friendship between the parliaments of the two countries. The Group is chaired by AWEPA member Hon. Leszek Jastrzębski from the ruling party (Civic Platform), with 12 more members of the Sejm in the Group, mostly also AWEPA members. According to the tradition to build the special links by the parliamentarians, the Group Poland-RSA addressed the request to establish a similar group in the parliaments of RSA because the existence of such a counterpart group/equivalent could help strengthen the contacts by holding a set of meetings with the representatives of the Polish and RSA Parliaments.

The speakers overviewed the condition of the cooperation between Poland and RSA. Ambassador Pekane emphasized the impact of the position of RSA in the African Union and therefore on its policy in the entire region. He underlined how important is  the stabilization in the neighbouring countries as RSA receives a growing number  of emigration form Zimbabwe or Nigeria which has been estimated recently to reach 3 million people. Ambassador Pekane said that despite of resource development deals in RSA, the country needs most of all the investments not the exploitation and introduction the new technologies towards the innovating economy. The participants discussed the prospects of further development of the commercial contacts and the opportunities which will occur after the official visit of the Polish Prime Minister Mr. Donald Tusk to RSA scheduled for October this year.  Polish entrepreneurs pay regularly study visits to RSA to develop the business opportunities and to attract the RSA investors to Poland. Additionally, Poland can give lessons on the development of the education sector basing on the Polish experience form the transition process when during the last 20 years  the number of university degrees was doubled as a response to rapidly growing economy. The authorities of the two countries should find the financial resources or ask for the engagement the private companies to cover the costs of the studies at the Polish universities.

Both speakers Deputy Jastrzębski and Ambassador Pekane agreed to set regular contacts and build a platform for parliamentary contacts between the parliament of Poland and Republic of South Africa.

Location: Sejm, Warsaw