The Duke of Edinburgh celebrates youth and biodiversity in South Africa

The Duke of Edinburgh celebrates youth and biodiversity in South Africa

The Duke of Edinburgh celebrates youth and biodiversity in South Africa

The Duke of Edinburgh celebrates youth and biodiversity in South Africa

His Royal Highness Prince Edward The Duke of Edinburgh has spent the last two days in South Africa (22 – 23 January), marking the first Royal visit of its kind since President Ramaphosa’s historic State Visit to the UK in November 2022. 

During the visit, His Royal Highness met Acting President Mashatile at Oliver Tambo House.

Alongside Ms Barbara Creecy, South Africa’s Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment, The Duke explored Pretoria’s Botanical Garden with CEO of the South African National Institute (SANBI), Mr Shonisani Munzhedi. This followed President Ramaphosa’s visit to the Royal Botanical Garden, Kew, in November 2022, and marked the long-term collaboration between Kew and SANBI to ensure the survival of South Africa’s rich plant diversity.

HRH met a wheelchair user and her husband who are regular users of the Enabling Garden, to learn about the different indigenous plants suitable for hanging baskets. He learnt about some of South Africa’s abundant flora biodiversity and medicinal plants, as well as viewing the National Herbarium where the largest collection of plant specimens in southern Africa are hosted (with over one million currently being digitised).

HRH met biodiversity organisations to hear about how they are conserving nature and reversing biodiversity loss.

At the British High Commissioner’s Residence, The Duke toured an exhibition of President Award winners, moving from stand to stand to talk to young people about their journeys, alongside Award Chairman Modise Makhene and Deputy Minister for International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Kwati Candith Mashego-Dlamini.

This year, the President’s Award (The Duke of Edinburgh International Award) celebrates its 41st anniversary in South Africa.

Launched in 1994 with Nelson Mandela as the Founding Patron-in-Chief, the Award today continues to serve as a shining example of our shared values of youth empowerment, community service and creating opportunities for all.

The Award supports approximately 3,000 young South Africans each year. Since 2011, over 65,000 young people are estimated to have participated in the programme. 

HRH also attended a Reception at the Residence with Dr Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, to celebrate the launch of the UK’s new International Science Partnership Fund.

UK High Commissioner to South Africa, Antony Phillipson said:

“This visit reflects the significant breadth and depth of our modern-day friendship with South Africa – from youth empowerment, to climate, science research, biodiversity and democracy – our countries’ shared values are clear. Continued collaboration and investment in these areas of mutual interest demonstrate our commitment to working together to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of British High Commission Pretoria.