Member states of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) has been challenged to invest in the education of the youth as it is the most powerful weapon to change the world.
Responding to this call, the 18th Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Council of Ministers Meeting, which took place on Friday, 2 November 2018, in Durban, has resolved to establish the IORA Nelson Mandela Be the Legacy Internship Programme.
The formation of the internship programme coincides with the centenary celebrations of the late former South African president Nelson Mandela, who is regarded as the father of IORA.
The programme is aimed at empowering young people under the age of 30 years from IORA member states with work experience in their chosen fields of study, said the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) on Friday.
Princess Zenani Mandela-Dlamini, who is also South Africa’s High Commissioner to Mauritius, thanked IORA member states for honouring the legacy of Madiba.
Princess Mandela-Dlamini told the IORA Council of Ministers that Madiba believed that the key to empowering people is education.
Challenging IORA Member States to invest in young people, Dirco Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said Mandela “loved young people and he strongly believed that education is the most powerful weapon that you can use to change the world”.
The programme will be launched on 18 July 2019, the day Madiba would have turned 101 years. Minister Sisulu indicated that South Africa will submit its request for the first intake.
IORA was established through the vision of Mandela, when 14 member states launched the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) in March 1997.
Currently, the membership of IORA is sitting at 21 member states. These countries include Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Thailand, and United Arab Emirates.
Speaking at the reception dinner, Minister Sisulu appealed to IORA member states and dialogue partners to support South Africa in its efforts to address the imbalances of the past through land redistribution programme.
She emphasized that the land redistribution programme will be within the confines of the law.
The Minister also expressed the country’s gratitude to the IORA member states and dialogue partners for their support during South Africa’s bid to attain a non-permanent seat at the United Security Council (UNSC) for the period 2019-2020.