It’s been a while since the last US edition of the Global South Africans newsletter, for which many apologies. With the start of the new financial year, and with a shiny new business plan that prioritises the GSA project, we hope to make this missive truly weekly as we work to build the network and make it relevant for all concerned.
Many of you I hope will have seen the speech Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Ebrahim Ebrahim gave in Perth last November. If not, it’s here, and worth a read. The message is clear: the South African government is serious about reaching out to the South African diaspora. It understands that if South Africa is to overcome the enormous challenges detailed in the National Development Plan and the diagnostic on which it is based, the country will need all the help it can get, not least from the extraordinary pool of knowledge, talent, influence and patriotic goodwill represented by South Africans who, for one reason or another, live offshore.
Brand South Africa, which I continue to represent in the US on a consultancy basis as Izwi Communications, is driving the GSA project because, ultimately, the biggest single contribution Global South Africans can make is to help the rest of the world understand the deeper truths about South Africa beyond the daily drumbeat of often alarming headlines — the truths captured so well by retired Constitutional Court Justice Albie Sachs in an interview he recently gave the Boston-based NGO SA Partners.
One of things we hope to foster with this newsletter — and Brand SA’s new globalsouthafricans.com website now live in beta — is conversation. We’d like to know what’s on your mind, what you think of this the GSA initiative, how (if at all) you would like to see it develop. We’re looking for insight and ideas. We also want to tell the stories of Global South Africans who are doing interesting things — like Temba Maqubela who’s the headmaster of Groton, Graham Perkett, who’s just launched a great new South African restaurant and rendezvous in San Diego, and Lenny Kristal, co-founder of Cognisess, who’s pioneering ways to make us all better at whatever we do.
What we don’t want to is add to the unwanted clutter in your mailbox. If you want off our mailing list, don’t hesitate to hit the unsubscribe button.