The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), including India, has established an internship programme in honour of former South African president Nelson Mandela, who is widely recognised as the initiator of IORA.
The IORA Nelson Mandela 'Be the Legacy' internship programme was announced at the close of the 18th IORA meeting in Durban on Friday. The programme is aimed at empowering young people under the age of 30 years from IORA member states with work experience in their chosen fields of study.
The IORA was established through the vision of Mandela, when 14 member states launched the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) in March 1997.
Currently, the IORA has 21 member states -- Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
The programme will be launched on July 18, 2019, the day Mandela would have turned 101 years old. South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu told the gathering that the country would submit a request for the first intake of interns from member countries.
Urging IORA member states to invest in young people, Sisulu said, "Madiba (clan name by which Mandela is fondly known) is loved young people and he strongly believed that education is the most powerful weapon that you can use to change the world."
During the opening session of the meeting, Sisulu also acknowledged Mahatma Gandhi for his activism in both South Africa and India. "We remember the role that Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi played in leading India to independence from British rule," Sisulu said.
"He inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world, including in South Africa, where we acknowledge and celebrate his contribution to our struggle through his Satyagraha movement.
"He came to South Africa in 1893 and stayed here until 1914, while continuously opposing discrimination in South Africa's four British colonies at the time," Sisulu added.
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