Simon Atkinson » Deputy Head of Mission, Cape Town

International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO)

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Guest blogger Andrew Carter: 17 May is an important date in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) calendar – a time for people around the world to celebrate sexual and gender diversities, and say ‘no’ to homophobic and transphobic discrimination, prejudice and violence. Working in South Africa, I am hugely impressed by the progressive constitution in relation to human rights, and legislation that recognises the rights of LGBT people to … Read more »International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO)

PM Trade Envoy sees GREAT partnership opportunities in South Africa

Baroness Scotland at the GUILD International Design Fair in Cape Town

Guest blog by the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to South Africa Baroness Patricia Scotland As the UK celebrated the extraordinary life of former South Africa President Nelson Mandela with a vibrant service in Westminster Abbey I travelled to a very rainy Johannesburg to begin the latest series of engagements in my role as Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to South Africa. It is my job to raise the profile of South … Read more »PM Trade Envoy sees GREAT partnership opportunities in South Africa

World Day against the Death Penalty

Members of Amnesty International and Fre

10 October is World Day against the Death Penalty. Since 2003, people all over the world have, on this day, been making clear their opposition to this form of punishment. Like many people who live in countries which, like South Africa and the UK, have abolished the death penalty, I don’t actually think about it that often. Read more »World Day against the Death Penalty

Marking National Women’s Day in South Africa

Protecting girls at risk

Guest blog, written by Sarah Dunn, Head of DfID Southern Africa. On National Women’s Day, I’m reminded of how many women leaders I have as colleagues, including the British High Commissioner, Dame Nicola Brewer and her successor Judith MacGregor. In a recent meeting with South African colleagues, our counterpart commented on how “empowered” our delegation was! South Africa has a host of women in senior domestic and international positions, notably … Read more »Marking National Women’s Day in South Africa

Food is GREAT Britain in South Africa

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David Edmondson works at the British Consulate General Cape Town building commercial relationships in The Cape and supporting UK companies across South Africa in the Food and Drink, Agribusiness, Tourism and Leisure and Marine sectors. His colleagues in Cape Town focus on the Design and Creative sectors and they are part of a large UK Trade & Investment team based in Johannesburg. Last Friday one lucky lady went to dinner … Read more »Food is GREAT Britain in South Africa

Celebrating Mandela Day

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A blog by Nick Monkhouse, British High Commission Pretoria. Today, 18 July 2013, is Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday. It is also Nelson Mandela Day, recognised by the UN and around the world as a day which seeks to inspire people to take action to help change the world for the better. As South Africa and the world wishes Nelson Mandela – lovingly known as ‘Madiba’, his tribal name, in South … Read more »Celebrating Mandela Day

G8 2013: taxes, transparency and trade. What could be more exciting?

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The G8 There are just a few days left before world leaders convene in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, on 17-18 June for the G8 Summit. It makes me recall my first job in the Foreign Office – G8 Desk Officer for our 2005 Presidency. Talk about the deep end – just eight months after starting, I found myself in a room with some of the most powerful world leaders! Deep … Read more »G8 2013: taxes, transparency and trade. What could be more exciting?

WWF secondment helping develop new policy area

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Guest Blog from Suzanne Carter, Climate Change Officer Many UK staff take a secondment into another government department over the course of their careers as civil servants but is there a way to replicate this exposure (on a smaller scale) for Locally Engaged Staff? My line manger thought it was at least worth a try! As the Consulate-General’s climate change officer, we had been asked to develop a new policy … Read more »WWF secondment helping develop new policy area

Prevention of Gender Based Violence

I have just returned from a visit to South Africa’s Eastern Cape – one of the three provinces we cover from the Consulate-General in Cape Town (the Western and Northern Capes are the other two provinces). As well as Port Elizabeth and East London, I visited the rural towns of Craddock, Bedford and Graaf-Reinet, talking to various people along the way (something I really enjoy about my work – the … Read more »Prevention of Gender Based Violence

President Pohamba visits South Africa

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As you may remember, though I’m based at the Consulate-General in Cape Town, I’m also accredited as the Deputy High Commissioner in Namibia (to support our team there). The historic visit this week by Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba to South Africa presented me with a rare chance to mix the two roles. On Tuesday (6 November) I attended the President’s address to South Africa’s Parliament. It was received with thunderous … Read more »President Pohamba visits South Africa