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GERMAN-SOUTH AFRICAN CULTURAL WEEKS (article first published : 2004-09-5)

Following the January 2004 visit to South Africa by German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder that underscored the excellent relationship that exists between the two countries, he agreed, together with President Thabo Mbeki, to act as the patron of the German-South African Cultural Weeks 2004, scheduled to take place in South Africa from October to December 2004.

The German Ambassador to South Africa, Mr Harro Adt, says the German-South African Cultural Weeks 2004 represent Germany's contribution to South Africa's celebration of ten years of freedom and democracy. They will promote and solidify the friendship between the two nations and give proof of the close partnership that already facilitates cooperation.

"Presently South Africa's largest import partner and the third largest export partner, Germany's commitment towards development cooperation in South Africa over the last ten years has amounted to approximately R2,3-billion in both financial and technical assistance," says Ambassador Adt, adding that besides business and trade, a close relationship is also defined and enhanced by a cultural dimension.

For the duration of the German-South African Cultural Weeks, the Goethe Institute in Johannesburg has been commissioned to co-ordinate a programme of a wide variety of events including music, fine arts, education, political discussions, science, sports, theatre, film and literature in which a number of German institutions, organisations and corporations will participate in addition to the German Federal and States government as well as their South African partners.

While the programme has been primarily financed by the German government and German institutions, sponsors the Johannesburg Development Agency and members of the German-South African Chamber of Commerce.

Several of the events of the Cultural Weeks, officially beginning with a performance of the world famous Carmina Burana on October 17, are scheduled to be held in Newtown in central Johannesburg in order to contribute to its development as a cultural centre. The Johannesburg Development Agency has offered its assistance in facilitating these events and in providing the necessary infrastructure and additional South African sponsors.

More information from Nikolai Petersen, Head of Cultural Programmes, Goethe-Institut Johannesburg, on 011 442 3232, fax 011 442 3738 or e-mail: petersen@joburg.goethe.org




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