South African Ambassador Her Excellency MathuJoyini paid a courtesy call on Minister Mike Henry at his Maxfield Avenue Office on April 15, 2011.
Expressing her pleasure at being in Jamaica, the Ambassador said that she felt quite at home as there were many areas of similarities between Jamaica and South Africa. She spoke highly of Jamaica’s reggae music and the impact it has had not only on South Africa but the entire African continent.
For his part, Minister Henry thanked the Ambassador for her visit and chronicled Jamaica’s solidarity with the people of South Africa during their long and tumultuous struggles during the apartheid era. He said that that bonding between the two nations has only served to strengthen the ties in recent years. The Minister also spoke to Jamaica’s celebration of its 50th anniversary of Independence and its historical significance vis a vis slavery and its ties with South Africa.
A major point during the discussions centred around Air Services Agreements between Jamaica and South Africa. The types of aircrafts to be used and the transportation of goods and cargo between the two nations also occupied a major part of the discussions. The Minister said that he was eager to visit South Africa and other countries on the African continent such as Ghana in an effort to concretise the agreement which was in its completion stage. At that time he would meet with airline partners and hopefully have the agreement signed. The Minister said that when the agreement would have been signed, it would signal a powerful link between Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.