Africa Colombia

Colombia in Africa

Colombia in Africa

Colombia in Africa: Colombia’s Vice President, Francia Márquez Mina, Conducts High-Level Visits to Three African Nations.

The Colombian Vice President chose South Africa, Kenya and Ethiopia for her first official visit to the African continent. The visits took place from May 10 to 18, 2023.

The details and results were described in press releases by the office of the Vice President of Colombia.

The Vice President and her delegation developed a rich intersectional agenda with the aim of consolidating diplomatic, political, commercial, and cultural relations with these three nations.

The delegation that accompanied this official visit consisted of members of the ministerial cabinet, parliamentarians, chambers of commerce, businessmen from different sectors of the economy, cultural leaders and journalists, who supported a central and parallel agendas with the aim of producing concrete results for each region.

 

 

Bogotá D.C., May 10, 2023 (@ViceColombia)

The Vice President of the Colombian republic, Francia Márquez Mina, launched her trip on May 10, her first high-level visit to the African continent.

The Vice President visited South Africa, Kenya and Ethiopia within the framework of a strategic agenda that included meetings with counterparts, meetings with managers of international entities, African leaders from different sectors and cultural exchange events.

The Vice President left with the commitment to obtain concrete results that strengthen Colombia’s relations with these three African countries and open the doors to new opportunities with the nations of the continent, as well as with the African Union.

National Development Plan

As defined in the National Development Plan, the Africa 2022-2026 strategy seeks an unprecedented approach to the African continent through the deepening of relations and the increase of its presence with the opening of new embassies, seeking deeper relations with the different regions of this continent and recognizing their diversity and potential in economic, cultural, and social partnerships.

For the National Government, the strengthening of relations with the African continent and the African Union is a priority. For this reason, the President of the Colombian Republic, Gustavo Petro, through Decree 1874 of September 2022, under Article 7, assigned Vice President Francia Márquez Mina, to the mission of inter-institutional and intersectional coordination of the tasks of the National Government in relations with the Afro-descendant movement, at the international level, and to collaborate with the tasks and responsibilities.

First High Level Visit to Africa

This is the first high-level visit to the African continent for Petro’s Government of Change, taking place from May 10 to 18, the month in which the African heritage in Colombia is commemorated and celebrated.

The objective of this high-level visit is to consolidate diplomatic, commercial and cultural relations with the African continent, beginning with these three nations, but with a view to creating an expanded strategy that strengthens the economies of the Greater Caribbean.

Exploring New Markets

South-South Cooperation represents, not only for Colombia, but for the entire region, the possibility of exploring new markets and strengthening new lines of the economy:

  • Direct commercial flights from Colombia to African countries as a strategy to move new tourist routes
  • Opening of new Colombian embassies in African nations and vice versa to continue diplomatic relations
  • Agreements with African chambers of commerce in multiple business sectors
  • Alliances with organizations and entities in the culture sector to promote exchanges and new scenarios for artists from both continents

Among other objectives, these are the basis for the decision to carry out the visits and to have the support of people who can leverage these processes in the country

Expanding Colombia’s International Relations

It is imperative for Colombia to increase the spectrum of its cultural, political and economic relations, and to consolidate new markets that expand both the supply and demand of products.

The economic growth of the country requires new horizons, and the Government of Change understands that many of the nations of the African continent represent the possibility of promoting innovation, competitiveness and multilateralism aimed at the integral development of the countries of the southern hemisphere.

Why is Africa a Continent of opportunities for Colombia?

Not only is it the region with the greatest potential for economic growth in the world, but it also has a population that will double by 2050. According to the Vice Presidency of Colombia, the African Continental Free Trade Area is today the largest free trade area in the world, with 54 signatory countries and they hope in the next five years to eliminate 90% of tariffs on merchandise.

The economic power is of such magnitude that the sales of Colombian companies to the African continent have increased by 158% in 2022 compared to 2021, according to DANE figures.

In 2022, the main buyer countries for Colombian goods were the Ivory Coast, Egypt, Morocco, South Africa, Gabon, Nigeria, Libya, Senegal, Angola and the Republic of the Congo.

Reconciliation & Peace 

Similarly, South Africa, Kenya and Ethiopia have great experiences in reconciliation and peace processes. At the multilateral level, it is expected to strengthen the presence and participation of Colombia in the African Union, of which it has been an Observer Member since 2008.

Common Interests

Some of the areas of common interest between Colombia and the African Union are:

  • Climate change
  • Peace-building
  • Women’s empowerment and education

Colombia will seek to support the efforts of this regional organization, framed in Agenda 2063 (it is a strategic framework of the African Union for the socioeconomic transformation of the continent, as well as progress in security, self-sufficiency and sustainability).

Ethiopia-Colombia

  • With great achievements, the agenda of Vice President Francia Márquez and the Colombian delegation in Ethiopia culminated.
  • Colombia obtained the approval of the Government of Ethiopia for the opening of an embassy in that country.
  • It was agreed to direct efforts to work in alliances around coffee, a key product in both nations.

 

 

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 18, 2023. (@ViceColombia).

Vice President Francia Márquez Mina ended her agenda in Ethiopia last Thursday with a very positive balance. This was the third country she visited as part of her tour of the African continent.

The vice president met at the Palace of Emperor Menelik II with the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, who gave his approval for Colombia to reopen an embassy in that country, and urged to work together in alliances around coffee, a key product in both nations.

 

Colombia in Africa
Vice President Francia Márquez and the Colombian delegation in Ethiopia. Image Credit: Vice President of Colombia.

 

During the working day, she also spoke in Addis Ababa with representatives of the African Union Commission, with the aim of consolidating South-South cooperation, advancing climate and racial justice, and working together for women’s empowerment.

The vice president of this organization, Monique Nsanzabaganwa, expressed her support for Colombia to have a more active role in the African Union as part of the sixth region: The diaspora.

There, in addition, Colombia accepted the proposal to work on the appointment of a representative before this continental organization to continue strengthening ties and promoting the exchange of experiences.

 

Vice President Francia Márquez and the Colombian delegation in Ethiopia meet with top leaders. Image credit: Vice President of Colombia.

 

Likewise, the high representative visited the Ethiopian Airlines facilities where she held fruitful conversations with the Commercial Director, Lemma Yadecha, and other members of the Executive Management.

Thanks to the meeting of aeronautical authorities of both countries and based on the Memorandum of Understanding of the current Bilateral Agreement, it was agreed to increase the weekly frequency of the flights of said airline, specifically on the Miami-Bogotá-Miami route, with the aim of to open greater spaces and better opportunities for the trade of the two nations, among other advances.

 

With great achievements, the agenda of Vice President Francia Márquez and the Colombian delegation in Ethiopia culminates. Image credit: Vice President of Colombia.

 

It should be noted that last Wednesday two binational cooperation instruments were signed:

  • A memorandum of understanding for political consultations between Colombia and Ethiopia; and
  • A declaration of intent on public diplomacy initiatives for the promotion of Spanish as a foreign language

With the signing of two memorandums of understanding, Vice President Francia Márquez launched a high-level agenda in Ethiopia

The Vice President was received by the Minister for Women and Social Affairs, Ergogie Tesfaye, together with high-level government officials from Ethiopia.

Last Wednesday, Vice President Francia Márquez and her delegation arrived in Ethiopia to kick off the high-level agenda contemplated in this country.

Said agenda began with the signing of two (2) memorandums of understanding between both Ministries of Foreign Affairs.

The Vice President was received by the Minister for Women and Social Affairs, Ergogie Tesfaye, together with high-level government officials from Ethiopia.

 

Colombia in Africa
Adís Abeba, Etiopía, 17 de mayo de 2023 @ViceColombia – Darwin Torres.

 

The Vice President officially invited the President of Ethiopia to be present in Colombia at the Commemoration of the International Day of Afro-descendant Women

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 17, 2023. (@ViceColombia)

Vice President Francia Márquez and her delegation began the official agenda in the sprawling capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. The Minister for Women and Social Affairs, Ergogie Tesfaye, along with high-level government officials from this nation expressed joy about the visit to this country and the will of her Government to advance common objectives and on various fronts of bilateral politics.

“Both countries know the cost of the conflict and we know that the silencing of the guns is only the beginning of a new reconciliation process,” Minister Tesfaye stated.

At the beginning of the agenda, the vice president together with the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Francisco José Coy, signed two Memoranda of Understanding.

The first based on creating the Political Consultation Mechanism between Colombia and Ethiopia, the cornerstone of the beginning of a deep and dynamic relationship, and the second on public diplomacy initiatives for the promotion of Spanish as a foreign language in this nation.

In the same way, the Vice President held a high-level meeting with the President of Ethiopia, Sahle-Work Zewde, to whom she stated that the intention of this visit is not only to want to do business, but to establish common life commitments that strength both nations and solves conflicts.

“Thank you President for receiving us, it is an honor to be here in the land of resistance and freedom, and it is an honor to be here at the gateway to the African continent,” said the Vice President.

During the meeting with the President, Márquez spoke about the conflict in Colombia, indicating that the country has a historical conflict that for Afro-descendants and indigenous peoples has been going on for 400 years and for more contemporary peoples it has been going on for 60 years.

An armed conflict that has bathed Colombia in blood and has left a lot of pain, but now, in the Government of Change, headed by President Gustavo Petro, it is proposed to continue with spaces for dialogue and negotiation with different actors.

“We want to bet on making Colombia a World Power of Life and for that total peace is essential. We believe that peace also involves strengthening international relations with sister countries, nations, and regions with whom we share common histories and agendas,” she indicated.

For her part, the President of Ethiopia, Sahle-Work Zewde, thanked the Vice President for her visit to this nation, stating that,

“The relationship between the two countries has been very weak, but I am convinced that it will be time to relaunch a new chapter of this relationship.

We recognize that we must work together to face climate change, as well as advance in agriculture, mining and energy transition, we must benefit from investment and trade in these areas, since our two countries unfortunately know the difficulties of an internal conflict ”she assured.

Colombia-Kenya

Colombia and Kenya will work together for climate change and will promote commercial exchange and the flexibility of visas.

Last Tuesday, Vice President Francia Márquez Mina, began the second day of work in Kenya with a high-level meeting with the President of this nation, William Samoei Rote.

 

Nairobi, Kenia, 16 de mayo de 2023 @ViceColombia – Darwin Torres.

 

During the working day, the vice president attended one of the main United Nations headquarters in the world in Nairobi, and was received by the Director General, Zainab Hawa Bangura, the Executive Director UN Habitat, Maimunah Mohd Sharif and the Executive Director from UNEP, Inger Andersen.

At the Colombian Embassy in Kenya, the Vice President held a meeting with 14 ambassadors from African countries before which Colombia has concurrence.

Nairobi, Kenya, May 16, 2023 (@ViceColombia).

Vice President Francia Márquez Mina began the second day of work in Kenya with a high-level meeting with the President of this nation, William Samoei Ruto, who assured that Colombia has active dynamics in the African Union.

As a result of said meeting, it was determined that Colombia and Kenya will work hand in hand to face the challenges imposed by the fight against climate change and promote commercial exchange and the flexibility of visas.

 

Nairobi, Kenia, 16 de mayo de 2023 @ViceColombia – Darwin Torres.

 

During the day, the vice president continued with her agenda by visiting one of the largest and most important forests in the world, where she planted a tree there.

“It is very gratifying for me to visit Karura Forest and plant a tree in the company of Wangari Maathai, daughter of the Nobel Peace Prize, for her contribution to sustainable development and democracy. Today, Colombia and Kenya are advancing on the same path towards racial and environmental justice,” said the vice president.

The vice president also had a strategic relationship meeting with the MIPAD organization, which brings together the most influential people of African descent in the world.

“I am honored to receive recognition from your hands and establish strategies in favor of Afro-Colombian leadership,” said the vice president in her intervention.

 

Colombia y Kenia trabajarán juntos por el cambio climático e impulsarán el intercambio comercial y la flexibilización de las visas. Nairobi, Kenia, 16 de mayo de 2023 @ViceColombia – Darwin Torres.

 

Finally, the vice president attended one of the main United Nations headquarters in the world in Nairobi, where she was received by the Director General, Zainab Hawa Bangura, the Executive Director of UN Habitat, Maimunah Mohd Sharif and the Executive Director of UNEP, Inger Andersen, who expressed their willingness to work in an articulated manner against climate change, and racial and gender justice, stressing that this alliance of the global south is necessary.

Kenia-VP Speech Highlights

Key points of the speech of the Vice President of the Republic of Colombia

Date: May 15, 2023

Location: Nairobi, Kenya.

“Thank you for receiving this delegation. It is an honor for me and my country to be here, reuniting as an Afro-descendant diaspora in the land of our ancestors.

This is a historic moment for Colombia, led by the first progressive government in Colombia since our proclamation as a Social State of Law.

Our President Gustavo Petro extends his arms to strengthen South-South cooperation relations. This is why we are here in Kenya, but our commitment is with the entire African continent.

 

Puntos clave del discurso de la vicepresidenta de la República de Colombia.Nairobi, Kenia. 15 de mayo de 2023 @ViceColombia – Darwin Torres.

 

I am glad to know that we have common stories, shared struggles and resistance. Stories of African and Afro-descendant heritage and blood that come together today to continue building a nation and a country.

We have had a table for first political consultations with the vice president and part of his government cabinet. We have raised issues such as Total Peace, we know that Kenya, like Colombia, has had internal conflicts that through dialogue have helped to resolve.

We have also discussed agreements from art, culture and knowledge: exchanges that rebuild and recover memory in articulation with the African continent, we want to encourage exchanges with Colombia and vice versa.

One of the results of these first political consultations has been a Memorandum of Understanding for the strengthening of ecological, community and sustainable tourism. I reiterate my gratitude for the willingness of this country to accompany us in the development of tourism for life and for peace.

We have expressed our support as a government for the exchange of experiences for coffee production. We make available our knowledge in production techniques and technology to generate development and well-being.

We will work in favor of the transmission of knowledge, one of them is the exchange experience of guadua for housing construction, for this, SENA will be part of the work groups and will contribute to this training.

I am excited by the mutual interest in facilitating language exchange: Kenya is willing to teach Swahili and Colombia will teach Spanish.

I am running as the first student. This exchange is necessary for our ethnic and cultural identity. In turn, we have agreed on scholarships for specializations and master’s degrees in Colombia. We want students from Colombia to come to Kenya and learn from their knowledge and wisdom.

We recognize the need to work between the government of Colombia and Kenya in favor of guaranteeing the equality rights of women.

Our president sends a message to the African continent about the manifestations of climate change and, in particular, he proposes the exchange of foreign debt for climate change actions. We are about to articulate about this effort.

We thank the Kenyan government for all the disposition in the consolidation of alliances in the economic, political, organizational, social-community, educational and diplomatic spheres. We will continue working until freedom, peace and dignity become customary.

Colombia-Kenya Binational Cooperation

Vice Presidents of Colombia and Kenya sign important binational cooperation instruments

3 Memorandums of Understanding and 4 Declarations of Intent were signed between Colombia and Kenya.

The vice president also proposed working on visa flexibility for citizens of both countries and exploring the possibility of organizing direct flights between Colombia and Kenya.

Nairobi, Kenya, May 15, 2023, (@ViceColombia).

 

Nairobi, Kenia, 15 de mayo de 2023 @ViceColombia – Darwin Torres.

 

The official agenda in Kenya began with a high-level meeting between the Vice President of Kenya, Righati Gachagua, and the Vice President of the Republic, Francia Márquez. During the meeting, the first political consultations were carried out to determine bilateral cooperation strategies.

3 Memorandums of Understanding and 4 Declarations of Intent were signed between Colombia and Kenya.

Additionally, the Colombian Government, led by Vice President Francia Márquez, proposed working on binational cooperation tools for various fronts: Multilingualism, promotion of literature, popular economies, sustainable tourism and intercontinental trade, among others.

In the same way, the vice president proposed to work on visa flexibility for citizens of both countries and to explore the possibility of organizing direct flights between Colombia and Kenya.

The announcement was made that Colombia joins Kenya, France and Barbados to work on a new financial architecture to achieve progress in the exchange of debt for climate actions.

 

Nairobi, Kenia, 15 de mayo de 2023 @ViceColombia – Darwin Torres.

 

Colombia-Kenya Business Forum

The Vice President participated in the Colombia-Kenya Business Forum, where the letter of intent was signed between the Mujer Emprende Fund and the Pan-African Federation of Savings and Financing Cooperatives (ACCOSCA), which brings together 27 African countries, with the aim of promoting women’s savings and entrepreneurship.

“We want to promote the ‘She exports to Africa’ program in Colombia, and we want African women to also be able to export their goods and services to our country and Latin America,” said the Vice President.

 

 

At the opening of the forum, the director of the Kenyan Chamber of Commerce, Kiprono Kittony, assured that he was in Colombia participating in the world meeting of Chambers of Commerce, held in Bogotá, where he had the opportunity to meet with the Vice President in the company of other seven African Chambers of Commerce.

In this first approach, the vice president expressed her intention to consolidate commercial, political and diplomatic relations.

 

Vicepresidents of Colombia and Kenia sign important instruments of binational cooperation. Nairobi, Kenia, 15 de mayo de 2023 @ViceColombia – Darwin Torres.

 

The Vice President also met with the Chief Justice of the Kenyan Supreme Court, Martha K. Koome, the first woman to preside over this court, with whom she spoke on gender, climate and racial justice. The Kenyan judge also accepted the invitation to visit Colombia on July 25, for the event to commemorate the International Day of Afro-descendant Women.

It should be remembered that within the framework of the MRE’s Promotion Plan for Colombia Abroad, on May 8 the Kenya-Colombia artistic residency began, directed by Rafael Palacios, director of the Sankofa Danzafro dance company, with the Kenyan groups Harambee and Kica de Kibera, a great project that ended that day with the presentation of the fusion play “Kuridi en doble vía” in honor of French Vice President Elena Márquez, at the great theater of Bomas of Kenya.

There, the Vice President highlighted the memorandum of understanding that was signed between Colombia and Kenya for the reconstruction of memory, history, and the deepening of cultural and sports relations. Said agreement also seeks to strengthen alliances and cultural relations at a bilateral and multilateral level and promote the exchange of knowledge and traditions.

The agenda of Vice President Francia Márquez and the Colombian delegation continued in the afternoon, where the participation in the Colombia-Kenya Trade Forum and the meeting with the President of the Supreme Court of Kenya, Hon. Martha Karambu Koome, stand out.

With concrete results, the agenda of Vice President Francia Márquez Mina and her Colombian delegation in South Africa ended

During the developed agenda, the vice president and her delegation signed six (6) declarations of intent, between Colombian and South African entities with a view to strengthening cooperation between both nations.

 

Johannesburgo, Sudáfrica, 13 de mayo de 2023 @ViceColombia – Darwin Torres.

 

After high-level meetings, significant progress and results were achieved in terms of political, commercial and cultural relations between the two countries.

 

Johannesburgo, Sudáfrica, 13 de mayo de 2023 @ViceColombia – Darwin Torres.

 

Johannesburg, South Africa, May 13, 2023, (@ViceColombia).

The visit of the Vice President of the Republic, Francia Márquez Mina, and her Colombian delegation to South Africa concluded with a very positive balance.

The high representative held different high-level meetings with important actors with whom significant progress and results were achieved for both countries in terms of international cooperation.

 

Con resultados concretos finalizó agenda de Vicepresidenta Francia Márquez Mina y su delegación colombiana en Sudáfrica. Image credit: Vice President of Colombia.

 

These achievements include the signing of six (6) memorandums of understanding, of which are the Memorandum of Understanding between the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Bogota Chamber of Commerce; the Declaration of Intent for the Promotion of Trade and Investments between Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal and the Chamber of Commerce of Buenaventura, Chocó, Tumaco, San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina as well as the Declaration of Intent for the Promotion of Music, Arts and Dance between the Petronio Álvarez Pacific Music Festival and the World Festival of Music, Arts and Dance (WOMAD).

Likewise, in education matters and with the purpose of advancing in the internationalization of Higher Education, the Vice Minister of Higher Education, Carolina Quijano, signed a Cooperation Alliance with the Vice Minister of Education of South Africa, with whom it is expected to work in an articulated manner in exchange topics among which stand out: seminars, workshops, conferences, visits by experts, promotion of educational mobility scholarships offered by both countries, teaching English and Spanish, as well as establishing a network of Colombian-African universities, among others.

In the same way, the Vice President also held a high-level meeting with the President and Vice President, who also agreed to be guarantors of the peace process in Colombia with the ELN. As a result of this meeting between senior leaders, different intentions to work together were materialized, among which are: restarting political consultations, visas, air connectivity, biodiversity and climate change, cultural and memory exchanges, educational scholarships, sports , tourism and popular economy.

The Vice President visited various memory spaces, including Freedom Park, the Museum of Historical Memory of Apartheid and Constitution Hill, and the cultural center of the Ubuntu Unity forum.

Key points of the speech of the Vice President of the Republic of Colombia, Francia Márquez Mina

Event: Economic Forum
Date: May 13, 2023
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa.

Although our previous governments in Colombia did not have a strategy to strengthen relations with the African continent, this government, one of a popular nature, has proposed to strengthen South-South relations.

Our agenda for this first visit to Africa consists precisely in strengthening commercial, diplomatic, cultural and political relations with Africa.

Currently the planet is in a polycrisis, therefore, we must advance a strategy that allows us to face it as equals, as peoples who have lived similar histories founded on colonialism, racism, slavery and patriarchy.

We must promote new trade rules, a trade that dignifies human life and that does not expropriate the human dignity of all people.

One that leads us to exchange experiences, knowledge and knowledge between peoples. From now on, when Colombia thinks about commercial relations, it will never again be able to forget the African continent.

We recognize the need to consolidate diplomacy between Africa and Latin America, this involves strengthening the diplomatic structures that we have, particularly in South Africa and Colombia. We have proposed the opening of the South African embassy in Colombia.

Likewise, we have proposed the presence of Procolombia in South Africa to encourage trade with Colombia in Africa.

We recognize the difficulties that Africans have to travel to Colombia. We want to promote visa flexibility processes that facilitate our arrival in Africa and theirs in our country.

Colombia is one of the most biodiverse countries on the planet, however, it is currently also suffering from the hunger crisis. We highlight the need to generate knowledge exchanges around sustainable and ecological agricultural production.

 

Puntos clave del discurso de la vicepresidenta de la República de Colombia, Francia Marquez Mina.Johannesburgo, Sudáfrica, 13 de mayo de 2023 @ViceColombia.

 

We must promote fair access to energy. Industrialization and the use of science and technology will help us and will be essential to advance on the path of a just energy transition and face the challenges of climate change.

I call on our phytosanitary authorities to meet and establish strategies and conditions for trade that is at the service of life and allows the strengthening of public-popular-community alliances.

400 years ago our ancestors were subjected to a dehumanizing trade. Not slaves, but enslaved as we have decided to call it as part of an exercise of resignification. We want to promote a commitment to life, peace and humanity.

Finally, we announce that we are consolidating a strategy called “She exports to Africa” through which we want to strengthen the economy of women, we know that this economy reaches the homes, at home. We also want African women to be able to export to Colombia.

Vice President Francia Márquez Mina proposes South Africa as the guarantor country of the peace process between the Colombian government and the ELN.

The Vice President of South Africa, Paul Mashatile, welcomed the proposal from his counterpart, as well as the possibility of opening embassies in both countries.

The vice president was received by the first president of the South African nation, Cyril Ramaphosa, with whom she discussed the importance of closer relations between the two countries.

She also participated in a special event with the African Union Cooperation Agency, where important announcements were made on two-track cooperation with an emphasis on women.

Johannesburg, South Africa, May 12, 2023 (@ViceColombia).

At the beginning of her agenda in South Africa, the first country visited on the African continent, the Vice President of the Republic Francia Márquez Mina, met with her South African counterpart, Paul Mashatile, at the official residence.

There, the Vice President herself raised the possibility that South Africa accompany, as a guarantor country, the peace process that the Colombian government is carrying out with the ELN.

Vice President Francia Márquez Mina proposes South Africa as the guarantor country of the peace process between the Colombian government and the ELN.

The Vice President of South Africa, Paul Mashatile, welcomed the proposal from his counterpart, as well as the possibility of opening embassies in both countries.

The Vice President was received by the first president of the South African nation, Cyril Ramaphosa, with whom she discussed the importance of closer relations between the two countries.

She also participated in a special event with the African Union Cooperation Agency, where important announcements were made on two-track cooperation with an emphasis on women.

 

Johannesburgo, Sudáfrica, 12 de mayo de 2023. @ViceColombia – Darwin Torres

 

Johannesburg, South Africa, May 12, 2023 (@ViceColombia).

 

Johannesburgo, Sudáfrica, 12 de mayo de 2023 @ViceColombia – Darwin Torres.

 

“We have a commitment to peace and we know that you have all the experience of peace and reconciliation. We want you to accompany us in those dialogue processes that we are carrying out with the ELN and that, later, we will carry out with other groups.

That South Africa is the guarantor of these processes is of great importance not only for Colombia but for the entire region,” she assured the president.

Vice President Mashatile received Márquez’s proposal positively and stated that her visit to South Africa is significant in many ways.

 

Vicepresidenta Francia Márquez Mina propone a Sudáfrica como país garante del proceso de paz del Gobierno colombiano con el ELN.Johannesburgo, Sudáfrica, 12 de mayo de 2023. @ViceColombia – Darwin Torres.

 

“Especially as we begin to revitalize our bilateral relations, today’s meeting is historic, as there has not been this kind of high-level engagement between our countries since the establishment of diplomatic relations. This meeting represents a milestone to lay the foundations and the roadmap for bilateral and multilateral cooperation,” she stated.

The counterparts held a meeting of more than two hours, in the company of their delegations and cabinets, with the aim of identifying joint work initiatives: resumption of political consultations between the two countries, efforts to facilitate visas between the two nations, possibilities for air connectivity, biodiversity, climate change, cultural and memory exchanges, educational exchanges and scholarships, sports (mainly with rugby), sustainable and community tourism and economic development and popular economy.

The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, also received the Vice President at the official residence, where they discussed the importance of consolidating binational relations and the legacy that his country has contributed to the global fight for equity and racial justice.

Earlier, the Vice President visited Freedom Park, in Pretoria, where she signed the book of honorary visitors, vindicating the testimony of those who, 400 years ago, left Africa as slaves. “Today I come as vice president of Colombia representing the fight for the freedom of my ancestors,” she said.

These activities are carried out within the framework of the Africa 2022-2026 strategy of the Colombian Government, which has established the objective of deepening the country’s relationship with the African continent and strengthening South-South cooperation.

“This visit for us after 26 years is a historic moment. The Colombia Africa 2022 – 2026 strategy implies the strengthening of cultural relations, facing climate change, bets to recover food sovereignty. In terms of agricultural production, we have a lot to exchange, but also in science and technological development, with each country’s own experience, it will contribute to providing answers to what humanity and our planet demand today,” said the Vice President.

During the meeting, the senior official proposed to work on the reconstruction of historical memory, which allows the descendants who have suffered, not only the effects of slavery, but also the structural racism that continues to affect and harm, to heal.

“In terms of memory reconstruction, South Africa has a lot to contribute to Latin America, the Caribbean and of course to our country, Colombia. In this sense, we want to work with you from education, from art and culture, of course in women’s issues we want to strengthen diplomatic relations in terms of feminist foreign policy, we need to continue empowering women, and strengthen the feminist mural that connects us. We are committed to dignifying the humanity of women around the world,” she said.

Finally, the Vice President finished her day at the African Union Development Agency AUDA-NEPAD, where she made a general assessment in front of all the ambassadors and heads of diplomatic missions accredited in Africa, on the first day of the visit her. There, she celebrated what she called this new stage of cooperation between Colombia and Africa through the Agency for Cooperation of the African Union and the Agency for International Cooperation of the Presidency. Precisely, the APC announced its commitment to issues of aquaculture and blue economy, through a contribution of 100,000 US dollars in two-way projects where the main beneficiaries will be Colombian and South African women.

Vice President Francia Márquez is already in South Africa, the first stop on her high-level visit to the African continent.

More than 18 hours of flight, from Bogotá to Johannesburg, took the trip that the vice president made in the company of her entourage. They left on May 10 at 4:30 p.m. Colombian time and arrived on May 11 at 8:30 p.m. South Africa time.

 

Bogotá D.C., 11 de mayo de 2023 @ViceColombia – Darwin Torres.

 

After a short stopover in Brazil, the Vice President made a stopover in the African nation of Gabon, where she was received by the country’s Vice President for a formal greeting.

 

Bogotá D.C., 11 de mayo de 2023 @ViceColombia – Darwin Torres.

 

The meeting took place at the military airport in Libreville, the Gabonese capital.

Finally, the president and her delegation arrived in South African territory in the city of Pretoria. Later they traveled to Johannesburg where they started the agenda on May 12 first thing in the morning.

Bogotá D.C., May 11, 2023 (@ViceColombia).

The vice president of the republic, Francia Márquez Mina, began on May 10, her first high-level visit to the African continent.  South Africa was the first of the three nations that she visited in this historic journey for Colombia’s international relations.

Márquez left the Colombian capital, in the company of her delegation on May 10 at 4:30 in the afternoon. The aircraft stopped in Brazil for a short stopover and then crossed the Atlantic Ocean towards the West African coast.

 

Vicepresidenta Francia Márquez ya está en Sudáfrica, primera parada de su visita de alto nivel al continente africanoBogotá D.C., 11 de mayo de 2023 @ViceColombia – Darwin Torres.

 

After several hours of flight, it was time for a strategic stop at the military airport in Libreville, the capital of Gabon. A nation recognized for its large areas of protected territories that has a population of approximately 2,341,000 inhabitants.

There she was received by the Vice President of the Nation Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda. The counterparts talked for almost an hour about the importance of building bridges between Gabon and Colombia in order to promote opportunities for both countries.

 

 

Ossouka Raponda told Márquez Mina the need for a future State visit to consolidate diplomatic relations.

Finally, the president undertook the last leg of the flight to South Africa. She arrived, along with her delegation, at the Pretoria military airport around 8:30 p.m. local time and she was received by diplomatic authorities of the continental power.

On Friday, May 12, she kicked off her official agenda with a visit to the legendary Freedom Park in the company of South African Vice President Paul Mashatile.

 

https://twitter.com/FranciaMarquezM/status/1660644234255388675?s=20

 


Dr. Soledad Quartucci | Founder

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