Working Visit to Ireland by Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, 14-16 November 2006
On Tuesday evening the Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, arrived in Dublin to begin a three day working visit from 14th to 16th November. The Deputy President will combine attendance at working meetings on education and business cooperation between Ireland and South Africa with calls on the President, the Taoiseach and several Government ministers.
The Deputy President is interested in learning at first hand about the economic experience of Ireland over the past decade, especially in terms of job creation and the contribution of the Irish education system towards fostering economic growth. In particular, she wishes to develop cooperation with Ireland on the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (ASGI-SA), a major public sector-led infrastructural and development programme. She is also eager for Irish involvement in the Joint Initiative for Priority Skills Acquisition (JIPSA), which aims to accelerate the skills development of the South African population. The Deputy President is responsible for leading on ASGI-SA within the South Africa Government. These programmes are part of the effort to address unemployment and poverty in South Africa through skills-based economic growth.
On Wednesday morning, 15 November 2006, the Deputy President participated in an education seminar in the Four Seasons Hotel that examined cooperation between Ireland and the Republic of South Africa in skills training and the development of expertise. On Wednesday afternoon she will take part in a further seminar in the Four Seasons Hotel hosted by the Ireland South Africa Business Association, looking at prospects for deepening economic and trade cooperation between South Africa and Ireland. The Deputy President will attend a seminar in the Merrion Hotel on the afternoon of Thursday, 16 November to discuss what South Africa can learn from the Irish economic success. That seminar will be chaired by Dr. Frank Barry from the UCD School of Economics.
On Thursday morning, 16 November the Deputy President will pay a courtesy call on President McAleese at Áras an Uachtaráin. Later on Thursday morning she will have meetings in Leinster House and at Government Buildings with the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern TD, the Tánaiste, Michael McDowell TD, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern TD, the Minister for Education and Science, Mary Hanafin TD and the Minister of State for Development Cooperation and Human Rights, Conor Lenihan TD. The Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney TD, will host a dinner in honour of the Deputy President at Iveagh House on Wednesday, 15 November 2006.
Note for Editors
The Deputy President is accompanied by a large delegation, including the South African Ministers for Transport and Education and the Deputy Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Industry and Communications. This is the highest level South African visit to Ireland since diplomatic relations were established in 1994. South Africa is Ireland's 33rd most important trading partner. .
The visit is the high point of a series of significant contacts between Ireland and South Africa during 2006. Minister Mary Harney T.D. attended St. Patrick's Day celebrations this year in South Africa and met with the Deputy President, while Minister Michael Martin T.D. led a major trade mission, including 29 Irish companies, to South Africa from 18-22 September and also called on the Deputy President.
15 November 2006