The following is a press release issued by the Somaliland Trade Liaison Office in Pretoria, South Africa.
PRETORIA — Ms Fatima Madar, the newly-appointed Foreign Affairs spokesperson of the opposition Ucid party, visited South Africa from 25th April to 1st May 2010.
On arrival, Ms Madar, in her capacity as a member of the Norwegian Labour Party delegation, attended a 3-day Southern African women’s regional empowerment conference in Johannesburg. 36 delegates from Southern Africa attended from Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Rwanda, and Tanzania. Delegates from Norway, such as the Labour Party’s Ms Marte Ingul, also participated. This Conference was hosted by the Norwegian People’s Aid, under the banner of: ‘ Women Can do it Regional Conference on Lessonx Learnt in Advancing Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality’.
A meeting was also held on women and religion with the University of South Africa’s Head of the Department of Religious Studies and Arabic, as well as the University of Pretoria’s Department of Politics. The Pretoria University round-table discussion, focused on Cuba’s Centre for the Studies of Africa and the Middle East, the Somali diaspora, Norway’s Labour Party and recent developments in Somaliland and the Horn of Africa.
In addition, Ms Madar, used her time in South Africa to nurture relations with South Africa’s governing party, the African National Congress (ANC), and to exchange ideas on elections, the media and the future of Somaliland. Discussions were held with the ANC’s communications department and other relevant units.
During her short visit, Ms Madar, also attended a government press conference on the newly formed National Planning Commission. At the Presidential guest house, Ms Madar met the South African President Jacob Zuma, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, for a photo opportunity and, briefly discussed Somaliland and Norway’s Labour Party.
South African media, such the popular Cape Town based, Voice of the Cape radio interviewed Ms Madar on the up-coming presidential Somaliland elections.
Ms Madar concluded her visit by undertaking a visit to the internationally acclaimed women’s activist Mrs. Sophie De Bruyn. In addition, she visited the well-known veteran struggle activist Mrs. Amina Cachalia, a confidante and close friend of President Nelson Mandela. Detailed discussions were held with community leaders, notably the Community of Somaliland in Southern Africa (COSSA), and the attendance of its Saturday board meeting in Crossby, Johannesburg.
1 May 2010. Issued by the Somaliland Trade Liaison Office, Pretoria, South Africa.
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