South Africa Prepares To Welcome the World

Posted by William J. Burns
April 29, 2010
Under Secretary Burns Visits Cape Town

About the Author: William J. Burns serves as Under Secretary for Political Affairs.

If you're a World Cup aficionado, you'll feel at home in Cape Town. South Africa was another stop on my seven-country tour in Africa. The country was bursting with pre-World Cup activity. I learned that more Americans have bought tickets for the games than any nationality other than South Africa. Cape Town has a beautiful new stadium, and officials here tell me they're ready to welcome the world. The games will be a credit to South Africa and the African continent.

My trip built on a number of other efforts in the Obama Administration over the last 15-16 months, which reflect the high priority that the United States attaches to relations with our African partners, in particular our close cooperation with South Africa. I visited ten days or so after a very successful meeting between President Obama and President Zuma in Washington on the margins of the Nuclear Security Summit, and a meeting between Secretary Clinton and the South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane that produced a Memorandum of Understanding and a new Strategic Dialogue. We have a real opportunity to work together on a range of issues, from promoting regional peace and stability to issues of climate and energy, non-proliferation and disarmament, health and education and trade and investment. My own discussions with Foreign Minister Mashabane left me optimistic about our future.

Even on a short visit, it is evident that South Africa is a land of contrasts, with enormous wealth and poverty, enormous potential and challenges. What many rightly call the “miracle” of the end of apartheid and transformation to democracy is still very much a work in progress.

The good news is that South Africans know this better than anyone else. I had lunch with some leading thinkers and academics and others engaged in building this society. Our candid conversation about the challenges facing democratic governance in the country indicated the people are asking the right questions and committed to finding solutions. I'm confident that together we can help South Africa make real progress, and South Africa can help the international community meet the global challenges of the 21st century.

Related Entry:A Textbook for Every Namibian Child.

Comments

Comments

Brad B.
|
Canada
April 29, 2010

Brad B. in Canada writes:

Much as I wish South Africa well for the World Cup and beyond, I am concerned for its future.

The ANC has been power for 16 years with no sign of a legitimate power switch. This is simply not healthy in a democracy. Indeed the ANC (in a tripartite alliance with the Communist Party and the largest trade union) is highly committed to maintaining power at all costs. Under Mbeki, internal party manifestos referred to other parties as "the enemy."

It would be encouraging to see the USA nudging the country away from such ideas. Alas the USA appears at times to be adopting them itself.

palgye
|
South Korea
April 29, 2010

Palgye in South Korea writes:

Dear to...

Thinks about crime the public information whose is biggest to provide a firm belief about the prevention which is positive. now81?

Is 81st`s good, is a lie, but e-mail is continued.

Thank you.

Susan C.
|
Florida, USA
April 29, 2010

Susan C. in Florida writes:

After reading this blog entry, I was reminded of one of my favorite books that I read as a teenager. It changed me forever. "Cry the Beloved Country" was written by Alan Paton in 1948. It is a lyrical and beautifully written book about South Africa under apartheid. As all great books do, it makes you realize the incredible struggles that most "ordinary" people in this world face. If you can read it...it is still a very powerful story, and will help you appreciate what South Africa, and people such as Nelson Mandela, have accomplished. It also helped me, as a fourteen year old, to look at the racial problems in our own country, and made me want to do something about them...to make a difference, and to speak up against racial prejudice.

Patrick
|
Maryland, USA
April 29, 2010

Patrick in Maryland writes:

I think the New Stadium is a great way of helping too, get the public to see and visit their country. Hopfully the World Cup Game
goes well and it brings new businesses to the area.

Good too see some positive news about Cape Town,South Africa...:)

Nice Posting..Under Secretary William J. Burns

palgye
|
South Korea
April 30, 2010

Palgye in South Korea writes:

Agricultural Investment most the place which is necessary think Russia and Africa. Thinks one in the means which is only will control Russia the food. When one month degree food supply is discontinued in if, thinks that the possibility where the populace riot will occur grows most. If from food revolution starts, thinks the thing where the good result will occur. Must consult with a major and thinks that the part where the thought which boils but each other opinion agree is many thinks that the arbitrator is necessary.

Africa assistance solves the improvement and the housing problem of the water supply system and thinks that must approach a food problem. The place which is developed a little when like the medical treatment system and training facility degree is constructed, thinks that is better.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
April 30, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Kudo's to the city and residents of San Antonio, Texas for hosting the Hatian soccer team and providing them with the chance to practice and compete at the best of their ability. After who's facilities were destroyed, and their stadium turned into a tent city.

This is what I call "sportsmanlike conduct" among nations.

OysterCracker
|
United States
May 2, 2010

O.C. in U.S.A. writes:

Democracy through education is my motto. Democracy through soccer. Democracy through cricket.It doesn't matter. You just need to pick a theme and get the ball rolling. The greatest selling point in any country, any society is education whether its soccer education, agricultural education or education education.

John P.
|
Greece
May 2, 2010

John P. in Greece writes:

Very interesting info Eric. I did not know about it.

We can also call it “fair play” powered by U.S.A.

That’s what I mean sometimes and many people misunderstand me. America “powers” 100M projects, but people around the world know only 1%.

Let’s communicate this work!

It’s good that we have this Blog!

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