On 27 April, Freedom Day, Minister of State Böhmer was a guest of honour at the South African Embassy in Berlin. In her speech on South Africa’s National Day, she called to mind the year 1990, which brought freedom for Nelson Mandela and the fall of the Wall in Germany.
Minister of State Böhmer underscored the close ties between Germany and South Africa and the tremendous importance of freedom: “We Germans celebrated the happy end of the long road to freedom along with Nelson Mandela and all South Africans. Freedom has tremendous significance for us, too. I call to mind the year 1990, the year in which Nelson Mandela obtained his freedom once again and in Germany the wall that had divided our country for decades had finally fallen.”
Germany and South Africa: a close partnership
Germany and South Africa are privileged and strategic partners. This partnership was established by Chancellor Kohl and President Mandela in 1996: “Our relations are based on shared values and common interests. We are committed to universal human rights, fundamental democratic principles and the peaceful settlement of disputes. We view Africa as a continent with great potential, and we support South Africa in taking on special responsibility,” Böhmer declared.
In this connection Böhmer emphasised the special role played by the women of South Africa: “My interaction with the long‑serving South African Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in 2015 during the G7 Forum for Dialogue with Women at the Federal Chancellery in Berlin made a lasting impression on me. With South African Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, I share our common engagement to promote equal opportunities for men and women and strengthen the rights of girls and women throughout the world. Economic empowerment for women is also crucial. For a society is only sustainable when men and women bear joint and equal responsibility.”