SA hails Zewde’s election

Thursday, November 8, 2018

The South African government on Thursday hailed Ethiopia for electing Sahle-Work Zewde as its first woman President.

Zewde is currently the sole woman President on the African continent. She was elected by the Ethiopian parliament last week after the official resignation of President Mulatu Teshome.

In a statement on Thursday, South Africa’s Cabinet said it will continue to strengthen its bilateral relations with Ethiopia in a number of areas including trade, politics and economic relations.

Zewde -- who is a well-regarded diplomat representing Ethiopia at global, continental and regional organisations such as the UN, African Union (AU) and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) -- had also served as Ethiopia's ambassador to various countries.

In her acceptance speech, she vowed to serve her country and its people with her utmost effort. She reiterated her readiness to apply her experience in diplomacy to effectively serve her country as she takes the Ethiopian Presidential Office.

She stressed her dedication to maintain the longstanding unity among Ethiopians as well as sustain the ongoing reform of the Ethiopian government and the governance structure.

Cabinet went on to send congratulations to Cameroon’s President Paul Biya, who was inaugurated for his seventh term in office.

“Cabinet calls on all people of Cameroon to work together towards a peaceful solution through an inclusive dialogue process,” Cabinet said, adding that it looks forward to the deepening of bilateral political, economic and trade relations between South Africa with Cameroon.

Furthermore, Cabinet extended congratulations to Jair Bolsonaro on his election as the President of Brazil and further congratulated the people of Brazil for holding successful elections.

South Africa reaffirmed the warm fraternal ties with Brazil, which are based on the shared values of human rights, peace and social progress.

South Africa and Brazil share joint membership of a number of international organisations, including the IBSA (India, Brazil and South Africa) and BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) formations.

Meanwhile, Cabinet welcomed South Africa’s election to serve on the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Council during the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference held in Dubai.

Cabinet also congratulated Mandla Mchunu of ICASA, who has been elected to serve on the Radio Regulations Board of the ITU, as well as Doreen Bogdan-Martin on her election as the Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau and as the first woman to be part of the senior management of the ITU since it was established in 1865.

“South Africa is humbled by the confidence bestowed by other nation states to serve in these high structures of the ITU for the next four years.”

Cabinet said South Africa will use these positions to push the developmental agenda and for an inclusive information society in the digital age. –