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Visit by Ms. Hélène Conway-Mouret, Minister Delegate for French Nationals Abroad, to South Africa, on the occasion of the inauguration of the French Season in South Africa (July 12 to 13, 2012)

Ms. Hélène Conway-Mouret, Minister Delegate for French Nationals Abroad, will visit South Africa from July 12 to 13 for the inauguration of the French Season in South Africa.

The French Season in South Africa

The minister delegate will launch this Season together with Mr. Paul Mashatile, Minister of Culture of the Republic of South Africa, and Mr. Xavier Darcos, President of the Institut Français, with the opening of the “20th Century Masters: the human figure” exhibition at the prestigious Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg, which will showcase, for the first time in South Africa, masterpieces by Renoir, Degas, Léger, Braque and Matisse in particular.

This Season will showcase, from July to November 2012, more than 80 mainly cultural and artistic projects, as well as economic, sports, and scientific-related projects, selected by the French and South African Commissioners, Laurent Clavel and Bongani Tembe. It will therefore provide the South African public with a broad overview of contemporary France. This French Season, which will highlight the richness of the ties between France and South Africa, will be an exceptionally rich event of outstanding quality (www.france-southafrica.com). The South African Season in France will echo it in 2013.

This Season, organized by the Institut Français, is supported by a patrons committee chaired by Mr. Luc Oursel, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Areva, and also made up of Air France, Bouygues Travaux Publics, EDF, GDF-Suez, Mazars, the Orange Foundation and Total.

During this visit, Ms. Hélène Conway-Mouret will meet with Mr. Ebrahim Ismail Ebrahim, Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation.

The minister will also meet representatives of the French economic and business community in South Africa, French associations, as well as the elected representatives of the Assembly of French Nationals Abroad.

In Johannesburg, the minister delegate will visit the Apartheid Museum.

The excellent nature of our relations with South Africa

Ms. Hélène Conway-Mouret saved her first trip to the continent of Africa for South Africa. This decision underscores the French authorities’ attachment to the excellent nature of our relations with South Africa and the attention we intend to focus on the continued strengthening of these relations in all areas.

Indeed, France enjoys solid and dynamic bilateral relations with South Africa. These relations are marked by annual meetings: visits by foreign ministers, forums for political dialogue, forums for economic dialogue, etc. Since the new government took office, the series of bilateral meetings – the meeting between Mr. Fabius and his South African counterpart, Ms. Nkoana-Mashabane, in Paris on May 29, the meeting between President Hollande and President Zuma on June 19 on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Los Cabas – have demonstrated the strength of the partnership between the two countries and the desire to strengthen the ties that unite them.

9,000 compatriots live in South Africa, where approximately 230 French companies also operate, notably in the transport equipment sector (Gautrain and Airbus construction) and the energy sector. The dynamic trade (French exports amounting to €2.29 billion; imports amounting to €954 billion in 2011) means that South Africa is our primary economic partner in sub-Saharan Africa. Furthermore, some 100,000 French citizens visit South Africa every year.

Learn more

The French Season in South Africa’s web site


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