South Africa’s Interest is Not Selfish

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Outgoing South African Ambassador Masilo E. Mabeta maintains that his country’s interest in diplomatic ties with Liberia “is not a selfish one, but in the direction of human to human relationship.”
The South African diplomat has ended a four-year tenure in Liberia and is about to take up a new assignment. He told journalists yesterday that South Africa’s belief in the principle of human relations is being manifested by the signing of agreements at the Africa Union (AU) summit, a student exchange program and the introduction of a visa program in Liberia whereby Liberians do not have to go outside the country to get visas for South Africa.
He recalled that during his tenure here, some students from the Foreign Service Institute visited South Africa.
He also recounted that South Africa was able to donate logistical materials to the health sector during the Ebola crisis.
Giving his impression about Liberia, Ambassador Mabeta said Liberians are upholding their hard earned peace in the midst of constraints which he said is highly commendable.
He stressed that it will not mean well for the country’s development if peace were absent and life threatening talks and violence are on the rise.
Pointing out a way forward to Liberia’s socio-economic development, the outgoing Ambassador said technical education is essential for the growth of the country, adding that, “education is a key to developing critical minds for development.”
He also named energy, a robust health sector and decentralization as conditions that will prepare citizens to contribute meaningfully to the development of their country.
Energy, he said, will encourage investments in manufacturing finished products to enable the country to produce more needed goods.
Ambassador Mabeta emphasized food security as one area of concentration, and therefore, called on Liberians to invest more in agriculture.
He acknowledged the generosity of Liberians and lauded President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Foreign Minister Augustine Ngafuan for the cordial working relationship that they exhibited during his stay in Liberia. He expressed the hope that such cordiality would continue with his successor, who is due to take over soon.
Ambassador Mabeta acknowledged that Liberia like other African countries stood by South Africa during its liberation struggle and that Liberians have demonstrated beyond all reasonable doubt that they know more about South Africa than South Africans know about Liberia.

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