Press Release :
Consolidating Somaliland-South Africa Relations
9-14 August 2005
1. The Director of the Institute for Practical Training and Research in the Republic of Somaliland, Dr. Ahmed Esa, visited the Republic of South Africa from 9 to 14 August 2005, as part of the larger bi-lateral momentum to consolidate educational, political and economic ties between the two countries.
Dr. Esa responded positively to a call made by the University of South Africa to Somaliland educational institutions, to attend the 1st African Council for Distance Education (ACDE) conference, which was hosted in the City of Tshwane (Pretoria).
At the inaugural ACDE Conference, which was attended by leading university Vice Chancellors from the continent, African education ministers and the Deputy President of South Africa, Dr. Esa contributed to the discussions on mobilizing African leadership, economic growth, capacity building, health and the organic link with education.
During the ACDE Conference, Dr. Esa shared ideas on Somalilandís growth and growing challengers with a range of delegates, such as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Abuja, Professor Nuhu Yaqub, and the British High Commissioner, the Rt. Hon Paul Boateng.
2. Particular focus was given to discussions with the University of South Africaís Head of Religious Studies and Arabic, Professor Yousuf Dadoo, on ways to initiate joint Islamic studies workshops, as part of the on-going efforts by Somalilanders to deepen Somalilandís democracy, traditional structures and good governance.
3. The up-coming Somaliland parliamentary elections on 29th September 2005, attracted particular attention. In this respect, Dr. Ahmed Esa responded to invitations to appear on South Africaís SABC Africa TV, and Channel Africa Radio programme Tam Tam Express.
This opportunity was also utilized to explore ways to initiate the exchange of radio programmes between South African radio stations and Somaliland.
4. During his visit, Dr. Esa visited the headquarters of the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and held discussions with its Director, Ms Elizabeth Sidiripoulis. Dr. Esa expressed his appreciation of the events and good research work of SAIIA on Somaliland, such as the South African Yearbook of International Affairs 2003/04, and the The Security Intersection, which explores Somalilandís political and economic trajectory. Discussions also focused on ways to deepen Somalilandís parliamentary elections by possible joint capacity-building programmes between the South African Institute of International Affairs and Somalilandís Institute for Practical Training and Research.
Dr. Esa was briefed on the programmes of the Academy of Self-Knowledge and also addressed members of the South African Muslim Community at the Rasooli Centre mosque in Centurion.
5. On his concluding day, Dr. Esa addressed members of the Somaliland community at the Suleiman Nana Memorial Hall in Johannesburg and up-dated the community on developments in Somaliland
6. Finally, Dr. Esa made a courtesy call to Dr. Jandayi E. Frazer, the Ambassador of the United States of America to South Africa and newly appointed US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. Furthermore, a valuable meeting was held with the visiting Nigerian Minister of Education, Her Excellency Mrs. Chinwe Obaji, on developing educational links and exchanges between Nigeria and Somaliland.
7. On his departure, Dr. Ahmed Esa expressed his appreciation to the Somaliland Liaison Office, in Tshwane (Pretoria), ďfor all the support extended to him, that made this visit valuable and possibleĒ.
Issued by : Somaliland Liaison Office, Tshwane (Pretoria), South Africa
14 August 2005
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