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29.05.24 09:57
Education

Honorary Consul of South Africa in Ekaterinburg: developing relations between Russia and South Africa in field of education is priority for me

At an event at UrFU, experts read reports on the historical ties between the two countries

The Institute of African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Urals Federal University (UrFU) organised an international scientific seminar “The Urals and Africa against Racism: Past and Present”.

The event is timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of one of the Soviet Union's largest solidarity actions with the fighters against racial discrimination in South Africa. Between 1984 and 1985, young people from the Soviet city of Sverdlovsk (now the Russian city of Ekaterinburg) voluntarily collected 20 tonnes of humanitarian aid and sent it to the Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College (SOMAFCO) in Tanzalina, an educational institution for young members of the African National Congress and children of the liberation movement in South Africa.

The opening ceremony was addressed by Dmitry Bugrov, Vice-Rector of UrFU, Sergey Mazurkevich, Honorary Consul of South Africa in Ekaterinburg, and Alexander Palkin, Director of the Department of the History Faculty at UrFU.

"The management of the Ural Federal University takes great interest in the growing ties between Russia and South Africa. UrFU is a member of the BRICS Network University. Now Africa is getting closer to the Urals. And the Ural Federal University's Africanists are and will continue to contribute to the development of relations between Russia and the continent," said Dmitry Bugrov.

"This year marks the 30th anniversary of the first non-racial elections and the establishment of democracy in South Africa. Nelson Mandela said that education is a powerful weapon that can change the world. For me and my team the priority is to develop Russian-South African relations in the field of education, to establish contacts between universities in South Africa and the Urals region," said Sergey Mazurkevich.

Boris Gorelik, Senior Researcher at the Centre for Southern African Studies, Candidate of Historical Sciences, read to the audience the report "Solidarity with the struggle against apartheid and civil initiatives in the USSR". Members of the organising committee of the 1985 solidarity action, who were present at the seminar, shared their memories. In the final part of the event there was a teleconference with South Africa.

Photo: UrFU

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