Address of Deputy Minster Ms Ntombazana Botha at the Memory of the World Committee Workshop Dinner
Distinguished members of the MOW Committee and Delegates to this Workshop
Friends and Comrades
Bonsoir! Good evening! Welcome to this very special dinner. I trust that you enjoyed your stay in our beautiful country as much as you enjoyed the work that you had to do.
You know, we just can’t have enough of you. We enjoyed your being here. If it were at all possible it would be wonderful if you could stay on for just another few days to experience more of our wonderful country with its rich variety of cultures, its natural splendours and, most importantly, it’s very special and friendly people (like me).
We have seven World Heritage Sites, one of these being the Robben Island Museum, where our first President of a democratic South Africa, Comrade Nelson Mandela, was incarcerated for nearly 27 years. You just can’t leave South Africa without visiting Robben Island.
I’m saying this dinner tonight is special because it gives you time to wind down and give yourselves a pat on the back for a job well done. What you have achieved in this week marks a significant milestone in our continent’s history which is our resolve to collaborate closely to preserve and protect our interlinked and common histories and heritage. By so doing we will be contributing to the African Renaissance and to Africa’s development.
We, the family of human kind, stand together, once again, in our effort to address concerns about the future of our heritage, which can only be secured through our collective and concerted actions.
From here, as you will each depart to go your separate ways, carrying the torch of hope which, I’m sure, was rekindled during these few, but memorable days with new enthusiasm, we can surely expect great developments in our various fields of expertise.
It was a great honour and pleasure for us, as the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Ministry and Department of Arts and Culture, to host the MOW Workshop. I’m sure that we have all made a lot of friends and also renewed and strengthened old friendships, which we trust will make the bond between us stronger and stronger.
We hope that we will see some of you again soon, perhaps this year still during the I. F. L. A. Conference in Durban to be held from 19 – 23 August 2007. This conference will also be hosted by our Department.
I wish you all the best of luck and a safe journey back home. Au revoir
Merci beaucoup! I thank you!