Shared Values - South Africa

Shared Values

Finding solutions together

South Africa and the Netherlands share many key values. Through cooperation the Netherlands Missions in South Africa aim to enhance these values across the African continent and the globe. These include the promotion of peace & security, human rights and international free trade.

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Students in Amsterdam protest in solidarity with South Africa’s #TotalShutDown protest against Gender Based Violence and Femicide.

Guided by its democratic constitution, South Africa plays an important role in advancing Human rights and LGBTI rights in Africa.  The Netherlands and South Africa are partners in advancing the implementation of Women, Peace & Security (UNSCR1325) and LGBTI rights in South Africa and the African continent.

International trade is a cornerstone of the economy and brings economic growth and prosperity. As gateways to their respective continents South Africa and Netherlands benefit from free trade. To trade effectively, the world needs a sustainable trade policy. We continue to work together on rules for free trade, a strong multilateral system and open markets. The Dutch government is committed to achieving coherence between trade agreements and international environmental, labor and human rights treaties.

Global Cyber Policy Dialogues

South Africa and the Netherlands work together to safeguard the development, openness, availability, reliability, safety and integrity of the internet. 

Promoting a safe, digital space protects the fundamental freedoms and rights of vulnerable and threatened individuals worldwide, both offline and online. Digitalization offers major opportunities for economic growth and jobs and ensuring that all citizens have access to safe and secure internet supports economic and social equality. The Netherlands and South Africa tackle the digital divide; nobody should be left behind.

In this aim the Netherlands Missions in South Africa co-host Global Cyber Policy Dialogues.

South Africa and the Netherlands, in partnership with the Observer Research Foundation America and Research ICT Africa, co-hosted the second successful virtual Global Cyber Policy Dialogue for Southern Africa on Wednesday, 06 October 2021. The aim of this meeting was to follow up on the inaugural session held in October 2020 and to also prepare and encourage participation at the much anticipated in-person session, to hopefully be held in 2022.

The virtual conference looked at refining participants’ understanding of the imperative of inclusive digital transformation and the concomitant security implications and risks of this transformation in Africa. The meeting also heard how fast and unchecked digitalisation could exacerbate existing inequalities or create new ones, and that development approaches may need to be re-evaluated or new strategies may be needed to ensure that the benefits of digitalisation are equitable to all.

Speakers and participants from across the globe highlighted the importance of government, private sector, civil society partnerships to unlock the development potential of cyber space and increase cyber resilience not only in Southern Africa but also globally.

On that occasion, Nathalie Jaarsma, Ambassador for Security Policy and Cyber at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs: ‘’Access to an open, free, stable and secure internet is not evenly distributed across the world, both in the Netherlands and in South-Africa. While bridging the digital divide, we need to consider the issue of trust. Our citizens need to be able to trust the security and integrity of the digital solutions they use in their everyday life. Our citizens and companies, but also our governments, need to trust each other to build a flourishing, innovative and equitable digital economy.”

South Africa and the Netherlands are already collaborating in digital projects. The Dutch Bureau for Statistics and the cities of Tshwane, Johannesburg and Cape Town worked together on big data management for the development of resilient and sustainable cities.

Women Peace and Security

Promoting Peace and Security in South Africa for all through raising awareness about the National Action Plan on Women , Peace and Secutriy launched in 2021.

You can watch the full panel event Thinking Peace, Creating Security The Journey of the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security here (1) Facebook