South Africa emerged the first African country to receive the global diplomatic service award after the World Affairs Council in Washington DC recognized the country as the 2016 recipient of the Distinguished Diplomatic Service Award.
The World Affairs Council, a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering grassroots understanding and engagement in international affairs crowned South Africa with the award for her outstanding efforts to involve citizens in an exchange of ideas, knowledge and understanding of global issues.
To the council, Mzansi is committed to global education, international affairs and global communications.
Reporting this, SABC acknowledge that South Africa earned the award as the nation’s diplomats have consistently channeled resources towards achieving the objectives of the National Development Plan (NDP).
That, includes the outlined agendas in the nine-point plan President Jacob Zuma once announced. Among the many priorities the government highlighted, the international award has indicated that the government’s efforts to pursue economic diplomacy, promote education and skills development are fruitful.
For instance, South Africa partners with the World Affairs Council is the Global Education Teacher Exchange program.
Mninwa Mahlangu, South Africa’s Ambassador to the United States who received the award on behalf of the government, remarked that the award points to the commitment towards the promotion of education and training as a tool of empowerment for individuals and the society at large.
Commenting, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane the International Relations and Cooperation Minister said: “In pursuit of our foreign policy vision, South Africa’s diplomacy is informed and guided by the philosophy of Ubuntu; I am because you are. It speaks to our core humanity, inter-dependence and co-existence.
South Africa is truly humbled to receive this prestigious award. This recognition will further inspire and encourage our diplomats who work 24/7 around the world to advance our country’s national interests,” SABC reports.