The University of Venda (UNIVEN) through the Provincial Government of Limpopo hosted the High Commissioner of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to South Africa, Dr Mazhar Javed. The meeting took place at the University Council Chambers on Thursday, 17 March 2022. The High Commissioner was accompanied by a delegation from Limpopo Provincial Government, led by Ms Dorah Maraba, Chief Director International Relations in the Office of the Premier.
Ms Dorah Maraba, when outlining the purpose of the visit, said the High Commissioner’s visit in the Province is aimed at strengthening and promoting trade and economic opportunities with Limpopo within the context of South Africa and Pakistan Relations. The Office of the Premier chose UNIVEN to host the High Commissioner with the view of promoting agricultural research and to create future relations with universities in Pakistan.
The High commissioner of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, His Excellency Dr Mazhar Javed thanked the University for a warm welcome and allowing him to address them directly. He displayed excitement to work together with the University of Venda looking at its richness in terms of Agriculture. Dr Mazhar Javed detailed the way Pakistan is doing in terms of agriculture. The High Commissioner also explained that the two countries have more things in common such as their landscape.
Dr Mazhar said Limpopo is a province that is rich in agriculture, and they need more partnerships in agriculture. He committed to facilitate any kind of collaboration and interaction between Pakistan and UNIVEN. He said, “Once that interaction starts the sky is the limit”. He congratulated and wished UNIVEN the best for its 40 years celebration.
In his response to the High Commissioner’s proposal, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Teaching and Learning, Prof Jan Crafford said the proposal from Pakistan comes at the right time when UNIVEN has recently adopted its 2021 -2025 Strategic Plan and this is the 2nd year of the implementation of this new strategic plan. He indicated that UNIVEN is the only University in the country situated in a Biosphere Reserve designated by UNESCO. He also mentioned that UNIVEN has a SARChi Chair on Biodiversity Value and Change in the Vhembe Biosphere Reserve. The University is excited about this potential collaboration and is looking forward to partner with Pakistan universities.
Mr Thabo Dikgale, UNIVEN’s Partnership Officer said, “We will start the conversation through the Office of the Premier and create linkages with the other universities”.
When opening and welcoming the guests, Dr Takalani Dzaga, Director Marketing, Branding and Communication said “It is a great day for UNIVEN to host His Excellency, High Commissioner of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. He said that the High Commissioner’s presence is important as this year UNIVEN is celebrating 40 years of existence and the University is looking forward to showcasing its achievements over the past four decades. He extended a word of warm welcome to the High Commissioner and delegates from the Office of the Premier who accompanied the High Commissioner.
In his closing remarks the University Registrar, Adv Edward Lambani supported that UNIVEN should grab this proposal with both hands. He further commended the Office of the Premier for choosing UNIVEN as the right University. He indicated that the University would work with the Office of the Premier and UNIVEN’ s International Relations and Partnerships Office in the process of facilitating the signing of the MoU with Pakistan universities. In his conclusion Adv Lambani said UNIVEN is looking forward to having a wonderful relationship with Pakistan universities.
Department of Marketing, Branding & Communication
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525 /8710
Date: 23 March 2022