South Africa Observes Commonwealth Day under the theme “A Connected Commonwealth” promoting Cultural Diplomacy

March 11th 2019 was Commonwealth Day, where member countries, as a symbol of their solidarity, observed a celebration of their ever-growing diplomatic relations

March 12th, 2019
Eleanor Banks, News from Berlin
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The Commonwealth is a voluntary association consisting of 53 diverse developed and developing countries, ranging from Africa, Asia, the Americans and the Caribbean to Europe and the South Pacific.

South Africa re-joined the Commonwealth in 1994 and has since then continued to work closely with the Commonwealth, through political and financial contributions, as well as giving their capacity and expertise to the workings of the organisation. 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the Commonwealth, and therefore is an appropriate time to recognise the old ties and new links which have allowed for support in social, political and economic development, in an all-encompassing and sustainable way. The Commonwealth Charter outlines the values which allow 53 countries and 2.4 billion people to unite.

South Africa’s sustained pledge to support the Commonwealth is highlighted through the announcement on 5 March 2019 that they and the United Kingdom would cooperatively lead a Commonwealth initiative to enhance digital connectivity between member countries. This followed the decision to introduce the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda, targeted at increasing intra-Commonwealth trade from $560 million to $2 trillion by 2030.

The Agenda brings together trade and sectoral policymakers, regulators and implementers in order to discover ways to develop trade and make further investment across the Commonwealth, through peer-to-peer learning, capacity building and the advancement of best practices. South Africa and the UK have agreed to lead the cluster on digital connectivity, bringing together member countries in support of inclusive growth and sustainable development through digital trade and digitalization.

The first meeting of the Digital Connectivity Cluster will take place on 19 to 20 March 2019 in Durban, South Africa.


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