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Nigeria, South Africa hold dialogue to strengthen ties Thursday

By Guardian Nigeria
28 March 2022   |   3:52 am
The High Commissioner to South Africa, Muhammad Manta, has said the inaugural people-to-people dialogue would be “stepping stone toward sincere conversations for improved relations” between both nations.

The High Commissioner to South Africa, Muhammad Manta..

The High Commissioner to South Africa, Muhammad Manta, has said the inaugural people-to-people dialogue would be “stepping stone toward sincere conversations for improved relations” between both nations.

The envoy, in a statement, stated that the South Africa-Nigeria Social Cohesion Dialogue holding in Pretoria, on Thursday, would be a take-off point for people to understand the historical dynamics of the two countries to engage and enlighten each another.

The forum, with the theme, “include, engage and enlighten,” would also help in dispelling perceptions that have affected the relationship between both countries, the envoy said.

“Beyond this inaugural dialogue, there are plans in the pipeline to engage and interpret bilateral relations through music, movie and drama, among other artistic expressions.

“I thank the South African government, companies, and institutions for supporting the laudable initiative.” Manta said in the statement issued by Zingiswa Makanda, Managing Director, Milla Communication, organisers of the dialogue.

Makanda said that over 5000 Nigerians and South Africans had registered online to converge on Freedom Park in Pretoria to discuss perceptions that have birthed conflicts between the two nations.

According to her, the event is long overdue. Her words: “We believe that a harmonious relationship between South Africa and Nigeria from governmental levels to the grassroots would strengthen the much-needed leadership on the continent.

“In Africa, whenever we have a family heart-to-heart talk, peace is automatic.” She said the dialogue would engender robust conversations on “Xenophobia: Hospitable host and responsible guests, tribalism, peaceful socio-cultural relations dialogue and Gender-based violence: Restoring humane woman dignity.”

The organisers said the discourse is being sponsored by Multichoice, South African Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, Thabo Mbeki Institute, SA Human Rights Commission and supported by the Nigerian High Commission in Pretoria.