From 22 to 27 March 2023, Their Majesties the King and the Queen of the Belgians will pay a state visit to South Africa.At the academic level, emphasis will be placed on consolidating the already close cooperation between several Belgian and South African universities, particularly in the field of research. At the cultural level, the bonds of friendship between Belgium and South Africa will be highlighted during the concert of a Belgian-South African jazz quartet. The Belgian Sovereigns will be accompanied by several ministers and minister-Presidents:
- Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Affairs, Foreign Trade and Federal Cultural Institutions, Ms Hadja Lahbib;
- Minister-President of Wallonia, Mr Elio Di Rupo ;
- Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region, Mr Rudi Vervoort;
- Minister Matthias Diependaele, representing the Flemish Government.
In addition, representatives from academic institutions and business leaders will also participate. The program of the visit will also reflect the desire to deepen relations between the two countries in a perspective resolutely turned towards the future and youth. On the economic front, emphasis will be placed on energy sustainability, agri-food and sustainable management of resources, but also on research and local production of vaccines as well as social entrepreneurship. Belgium clearly intends to invest in South Africa, which has considerable potential as the most industrialized country and the most diversified economy in Africa. The state visit will highlight South Africa’s turbulent history, still fresh in the memory of many of its inhabitants, by paying tribute to those who fought against apartheid and for freedom before making it a country where the rights of all are guaranteed. Belgium and South Africa are linked by a solid partnership based on the protection of the fundamental values enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, multilateralism and peace and security on the African and European continents. Our two countries share the desire to be part of a sustainable energy transition by investing in innovative solutions to fight climate change. South Africa enjoys a particular attraction in our country, as illustrated by the large number of Belgians who have settled there in recent decades to form the largest Belgian community in Africa. During the effective four days of the State visit, the Sovereigns and the Belgian delegation will visit Pretoria, Johannesburg and Cape Town. In the capital, they will meet the highest South-African authorities, while in the country’s two main cities and economic centers, they will have various meetings with the local authorities as well as the business, academic and cultural communities. A tribute to the fight against apartheid and for freedom, a partnership centered on the defense of common values and sustainable development.