/ 6 March 2024

Dominican Republic celebrates 180th Independence Day

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The renaming of a street there to Nelson Mandela Boulevard is symbolic of the long-standing relationship between the two countries

Dominican Republic Ambassador Erika Alvarez Rodriguez hosted a cocktail reception at the Residence in Pretoria to celebrate the 180th anniversary of the National Day of Independence for the Dominican Republic on 27 February 2024.

Welcoming members of the Diplomatic Corp and distinguished guests, Rodriguez thanked everyone for their attendance and for joining in to commemorate the special day for Dominicans. 

With a journey of 180 years the Dominican Republic is proud of its many achievements which include a continued democracy for more than 50 years, solid political stability, robust government institution, sustainable economic growth and faith in the strength to continue working together to address their challenges. 

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The Dominican Republic and the Republic of South Africa formally established diplomatic relations on 9 May 2002 and six years later the first Dominican Embassy was opened in Pretoria. Since then the two countries have fostered a solid relationship in accordance with the values of freedom, equality, justice, peace and  sustainable development in the common goal for human rights and development.

The recent visit of the South African delegation led by Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Alvin Botes to the Dominican Republic was a unique opportunity to consider initiatives and cooperation projects of mutual interest. The signing of the bilateral visa accession agreement for official passports is an example in this regard. 

On 11 February 2024 the Dominican Republic commemorated the day that Nelson Mandela was released from prison by unveiling a bust of the former president in honour of his fight against oppression in South Africa and his engagement for the recognition of human rights around the world. It serves as a reminder for Dominicans and the world of his legacy of equality, peace, dialogue and mutual understanding.  

The dynamic and diverse economy of the Dominican Republic includes sectors such as mining, agriculture, renewable energy and manufacturing. The economy is one of the most resilient in the Caribbean in the last two decades and its GDP continued to grow in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic. A record of more than 10 million tourists visited the country in 2023, making it a leading tourist destination. 

In closing Rodriguez said that she looks forward to advancing the diplomatic agenda for the benefit of both nations while serving her term in South Africa. Daan du Toit, Deputy Director General: International Cooperation and Resources congratulated the Dominican Republic on behalf of the government of South Africa.

South Africa views the Dominican Republic as an important and strategic trade partner and as an integral member of the African diaspora which the African Union embraces. The unveiling of the bust of Nelson Mandela by the Mayor of Santo Domingo East Municipality, Manuel Jimenez, and the renaming of a street to Nelson Mandela Boulevard in the Dominican Republic is symbolic of the long-standing relationship between the two countries. 

The event concluded with the wishing of prosperity and wellbeing to the people of both countries.