Celebrating 27 years of cooperation

North-West University (NWU) academic Kgame Molope represented the South African Chapter of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Academic Group (SA-IORAG) at the celebration of International IORA Day at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

The event, taking place from 7 to 8 March, marked the 27th anniversary of IORA’s establishment. Themed "Enhancing a sustainable Indian Ocean for future generations: our ocean our life", the event reflected on IORA's achievements since its inception on 7 March 1997, driven by the vision of former President Nelson Mandela.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), in collaboration with Unisa, hosted the event.

Kgame says that the celebration of IORA International Day 2024 aims to highlight the importance of the Indian Ocean in the socio-economic landscape of member states. “With the Indian Ocean serving as a vital component of economies, livelihoods, and cultural identities, the establishment of IORA in 1997 marked a significant milestone for regional cooperation.”

Kgame, who played an important role in contributing to IORAG's policy initiatives by ensuring its relevance in the Indo-Pacific region's geopolitical landscape, presented on the Indo-Pacific construct.

He explained that IORA has evolved into the premier regional organisation spanning from the coasts of Africa to the Gulf, South and South-East Asia, and Australia, with membership expanding from 14 to 23 states. Additionally, it has welcomed 12 dialogue partners, including four permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.

“In 2017, under South Africa's leadership, IORA held its inaugural Leader’s Summit, culminating in the Jakarta Concord. This landmark agreement delineated objectives across six priority areas and two cross-cutting issues, including maritime safety and security, trade and investment facilitation, and blue economy,” said Kgame.

“Over the past 27 years, IORA has emerged as a leading organisation, guided by the Jakarta Concord's objectives and five-year action plans. Key achievements include its growth in membership, successful institutional mechanisms, and strategic dialogues to shape the region's future.

“The IORA Day celebration sought to enhance IORA's visibility among academia, students, researchers, and government officials, emphasising the significance of cooperation among IORA African member states. It provided a platform to reflect on IORA's vision for 2030 and beyond, its role in the Indo-Pacific, and strategies for capacity building and youth engagement in the Indian Ocean Region,” added Kgame.


Kgame Molope.

Submitted on Tue, 03/12/2024 - 08:48