/ 5 March 2024

Celebrating the 63rd National Day for The State of Kuwait 

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South Africa and Kuwait have maintained bilateral relations for 30 years

The Embassy of Kuwait in Pretoria hosted their 63rd Anniversary of the National Day for the State of Kuwait and the 33rd Anniversary of the Liberation Day of the State of Kuwait on 23 February 2024 at the Sheraton Hotel in Pretoria. 

Ambassador Salem Rashed Al-Shebli warmly welcomed guests to the event and conveyed congratulations to Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Emir of the of the State of Kuwait, to Prime Minister Dr Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah and to members of government and the people of the state, wishing them more progress and continued prosperity, peace and security. 

This year coincides with the South African celebration of the 30th anniversary of the start of democracy and also the 30th anniversary of the distinguished bilateral relations between the State of Kuwait and The Republic of South Africa.

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Since 1976 the relationship between Kuwait and South Africa has grown. Kuwait has promoted friendship with South Africa and undertook numerous projects to support the South African people during the apartheid era. This has led to the two countries becoming close allies due to mutual interests and common orientation in promoting peace and conflict resolution. There will be more cooperation by continuing joint efforts to strengthen this friendly relationship. 

As of January 2024, Kuwait commences its membership of the United Nations Human Rights Council for the period 2024 to 2026. This election came from member states of the UN recognising efforts made by Kuwait in the fields of human rights and its commitment to the principles of the United Nations Charter. 

Al-Shebli said: “We look forward to working with South Africa during its membership in the council to consolidate and to enhance the respect of human rights for all people of the world.” 

Bilateral trade has steadily increased over the past five years, from around $74 million to more than $700 million and continues to grow, as well as Kuwaities’ investments being established in South Africa. In addition to that, Kuwait’s commitment to supporting developmental projects in South Africa is through the work of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, which assists and supports developing countries in achieving their goals through financial and technical aid. 

Representing the government of South Africa, Professor Somadoda Fikeni, Chairperson of the Public Service Commission, congratulated the State of Kuwait on their newly elected government as well as their National Day and Liberation Day. 

On the global front the two countries have worked closely to address some of the major challenges facing the world, including climate change, global poverty, inequality and promoting international peace and security. The African Continental Free Trade Agreement  is one of the flagship projects of the agenda 2063 of the African Union. In the bilateral context South Africa endeavours to strengthen economic cooperation in a mutually beneficial manner. In 2023 its total bilateral trade stood at R5.9 billion and included products such as minerals, chemicals and animals as well as agricultural and processed foodstuffs. 

“Kuwait remains an important investment and trading partner for South Africa in the Middle East; Kuwait is also a significant player in the international and energy security sector,” said Al-Shebli, toasting to the State of Kuwait, friendship and prosperity. The event ended with the cutting of a cake.