High Commissioner for South Africa visits Suffolk and Norfolk

Obed Mlaba, centre, the South African High Commissioner, during his visit to University Campus Suffo

Obed Mlaba, centre, the South African High Commissioner, during his visit to University Campus Suffolk with, from left, Professor Will Pope, chair of the UCS board, Anne Page, honorary consul for South Africa in the East of England, Jane Storey, chairman of Suffolk County Council, and Richard Lister, provost and chief executive of UCS. - Credit: Archant

The High Commissioner for South Africa has paid a visit to Suffolk and Norfolk.

His Excellency Obed Mlaba’s day-long tour was co-ordinated by the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and was designed to help forge business, educational and cultural links between the eastern region and South Africa.

Mr Mlaba first visited University Campus Suffolk (UCS) in Ipswich for an event organised by Suffolk County Council and hosted by Stuart Bannerman, director of UCS International.

It included presentations on Suffolk and Norfolk’s green economy and renewable energy by Johnathan Reynolds of Nautilus Associates and a member of New Anglia’s green economy board.

The High Commissioner also met with Tim Hunt, managing director of the UK University Consortium for Africa, and business leaders keen to do business in South Africa, including Jason Hawkins-Row, chief executive of Aponic which creates vertical plant growing systems, as well as representatives from a pioneering fibre optic cable provider and a telecoms planning solutions company.

The Norfolk leg of the tour, organised by Norfolk County Council, included visits to the University of East Anglia and the Norwich City Community Sports Foundation, and a business dinner hosted by insurance giant Aviva in Norwich.

Mr Mlaba said: “We were delighted to visit the eastern region and create fruitful linkages in the areas of education, renewable energy and the ocean economy.

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“South Africa is looking for partners through trade and investment opportunities between South Africa and East Anglia and has created strong connections.”