South Africans have for the first time celebrated their Freedom Day in Liberia, with the ambassador of the rainbow country accredited near Monrovia pledging stronger ties and collaboration between his government and people and Liberian and Liberians.
Ambassador Masilo E. Mabeta, South Africa’s first ever resident Ambassador to Liberia said a new day has dawn between the peoples and governments of Liberia and South Africa.
Speaking at official program marking his country’s Freedom Day, observed in Monrovia at a lustrous and auspicious on April 27, 2012 Ambassador Mabeta said he was pleased that top Liberian Government officials and other foreign diplomats had joined the celebration.
“In Monrovia we have also decided to celebrate our Freedom Day by visiting a home that former President Nelson Mandela spent a night in over 50 years ago,” the eleted and down to Earth Ambassador noted.
April 27, 2012 marked 18 years of SA transition from apartheid to an inclusive democracy and reflects on the achievements it has made as a nation.
“Freedom Day,” Ambassador Mabeta told his audience, “provides an opportunity for all South Africans to reaffirm who we are as a nation and what we stand for.”
Nation-building, he went on, requires all South Africans to play their part in ensuring that the values and principles enshrined in their constitution become a reality in the development of fully functioning communities.
“There is a vast improvement in the representation of women in all three tiers of our government since 1994.Our National Symbols and Orders should serve as catalysts that unite us as we work together in establishing South Africa as a country of choice in the global village,” stated.
He said out of such cooperation and collaboration, the very gloomy view of African realities so eloquently described by Chinua Achelse in his book where everything seems to fall apart in Africa will be changed. “We the Africans must lead in this debate and the action demanded of us as government, private sector and public entities are absolutely critical.”
The said during his tenure in Liberia, the ties between the West African state and the rainbow country will be stronger with Liberians travelling to SA to learn and return to share the ideas with their brothers and sisters back home.
Listen to him: “We have for example a team of senior Liberian Ministers currently in South Africa to interact with their counterparts in order to share ideas on how best to strengthen the implementation processes in their respective departmental sectors.
“Furthermore we have Liberian Foreign Affairs participants in the diplomatic training program schedule for May/ July by the South African Department of International Relations Cooperation.
“Within the private sector we have South African companies operating in Liberia. Lonestar Cell MTN, the leading telecommunications provider in Liberia, amongst others, has initiated social programs for young Liberian media trainees. As youth development and empowerment are serious challenges, this training is very important in the knowledge technology.”
Besides, he said SGS, a South African geological survey and mining exploration company operating in Liberia employs and trains young Liberians who in the future will be able to lead the process for unlocking the mineral wealth of beautiful country.
“Our collaboration,” he continued, “in the specific area of local government is critical. The Lord Mayor of the Monrovia City Corporation Ms Mary Broh has engaged us on city to city linkages in order to share lessons and best practices and thereby strengthen our capacity for sustainable service delivery in local government within the framework of our respective constitutional mandates in the spirit of the principle of the government of the people by the people for the people.”
Back to the celebration, the Ambassador noted that “these celebrations serve as a reminder of the struggle for a free, just and democratic South Africa.
Ambassador Mabeta described the day as an occasion where South Africans reflect deeply on their transition from apartheid to an inclusive democracy, which has been internationally acclaimed. “On this day, we recommit ourselves to heal the divisions of the past and firmly establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and respect for fundamental human rights. Freedom and human rights are for all human beings, regardless of race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”
The day reaffirms our freedom and ensures that the violation of such rights never occurs again. The celebrations also give credence to President Jacob Zuma’s commitments in the 2012 state of Nation address: where he states that, ‘as part of promoting social cohesion, this year we will undertake and continue to support many heritage projects.’
Ambassador Mabeta, the first ever resident South African Ambassador to Liberia has already begun showing his juice—building a cordial working relation with the Liberian media and other national state actors, and traveling to villages with his wife and other staff to interact with the common people of Liberia. This is unprecedented among ambassadors.
He is being admired as a down-to-earth-ambassador.