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Minister Sherlock hosts Fourth South Africa-Ireland Partnership Forum

International relations, MoS Sean Sherlock, Press Releases, Africa, Ireland, 2015

The Minister of State for Development, Trade Promotion and North-South Cooperation, Seán Sherlock TD, co-chaired the Fourth South Africa-Ireland Partnership Forum in Iveagh House, Dublin today with the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Luwellyn Landers.

The Ministers had wide ranging discussions on political, economic and social developments in both countries, reaffirming the close friendship and ties that underpin the relationship between Ireland and South Africa.

Following on from the successful official working visit that President Michael D. Higgins paid to South Africa in November 2014 and building on the Trade Mission to South Africa in May 2015 led by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charles Flanagan TD, the meeting offered the opportunity for high level discussions on strengthening and further developing trade and investment relations.

Cooperation in a number of key areas was highlighted, including in the energy sector where, for example, ESB International and ESKOM have been collaborating for a number of years. Other areas which might be further expanded in the future, including the tourism and education sectors, were also considered.

Minister Sherlock spoke of the value of the Forum:

“The longstanding ties between Ireland and South Africa stem from significant and historic relations between our two countries. We intend to explore this friendship further as part of the commemorative events planned in connection with the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising.

“The economic relationship between Ireland and South Africa has been going from strength to strength and South Africa is one of the 27 global priority markets identified in the Government’s Trade Strategy. Ireland also has a long established programme of cooperation with South Africa through Irish Aid, including through the Kader Asmal Fellowship Programme, which provides one-year post-graduate programmes in Ireland for South African students in a number of defined areas.”

ENDS

Press Office

26 November 2015

Notes to Editor

Established in 2004, the Partnership Forum is the structured bilateral mechanism between South Africa and Ireland. Previous Partnership Forums took place in 2006 (Pretoria), 2009 (Dublin) and 2012 (Cape Town).

The Kader Asmal Fellowship Programme aims is to help in addressing the continuing educational needs in South Africa through the provision of one year post-graduate programmes in Ireland to deserving candidates in a number of defined areas. It is named in honour of the late Professor Kader Asmal, Former Minister for Water Affairs in the first democratically elected South African Government and former Minister of Higher Education. Professor Asmal was also the founder of the Irish Anti Apartheid Movement and the Irish Council of Civil Liberties, as well as former Professor of Law at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and at the University of the Western Cape (UWC).

Download the Joint Communiqué issued following the Partnership Forum (PDF)