Land Reform Minister Ms Nkoana-Mashabane receives master’s from UP

Posted on September 07, 2018

Rural Development and Land Reform Minister, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, received her master’s degree in Diplomatic Studies this week at the University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Humanities graduation.

She said she decided to embark on this degree while she was Minister of International Relations and Cooperation. In her role as the top diplomat of South Africa, she had the opportunity to engage in the formulation and implementation of foreign policy. 

Experiencing diplomacy first hand in practice, inspired the Minister to register for the master’s in Diplomatic Studies as she wanted to study the theoretical aspects of it. She served South Africa as a diplomat for almost ten years as ambassador in Asia, accredited to India and Malaysia.

In addition to the course work, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane produced a dissertation titled, South Africa Foreign Policy: Human Rights, the African Agenda and Middle Powermanship. It explored the status of South Africa as a middle power and considered whether this status, as well as its leadership role on the continent, influenced its approach to human rights. It also analysed the position adopted by South Africa and tested these positions against the characteristics of middle power states.

Studying while having to balance the responsibilities of being Minister of International Relations and Cooperation was no easy task, she said. However, “thanks to the willing, open and flexible approach of the University of Pretoria, I was able to complete the task.” 

Her message to the youth is “I hope being able to achieve this qualification while serving in such a demanding position will inspire the youth to never give up on their education.  Education is the future of our country and I hope the young people of our country will seize the opportunity of a better life that is made possible by education.”   

- Author Primarashni Gower

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