Ambassador Gormley's Cape Town Tour
News18 November 2023
Austin Gormley, Eimear Costigan, Wesgro, and Nicola Kelly Director of Sub-Saharan Africa at Enterprise Ireland (back). Ciaran Burke, Swoop Co-Founder, Alastair Woods, Head of Swoop SA, Elricco Govindasamy,Sage.
Ambassador Austin Gormley this week concluded a whistle-stop tour of the Mother City.
A packed schedule saw the Ambassador sitting down for discussions with political party representatives, attending the AGM of the Irish South Africa Association (ISSA) meeting with Irish agencies in South Africa, overseeing the signing of a global business agreement, and visting historical sites in Cape Town.
Mr Gormley kicked off his Cape Town tour meeting with Nicola Kelly, Director of Sub-Saharan Africa at Enterprise Ireland, the Irish government organisation responsible for growing Irish enterprises in global markets. He then held discussions with Jimmy Kirby, the manager of global Irish firm Kirby Group in South Africa. Kirby's South Africa's operation was launched by the Tánaiste Micheál Martin (Ireland's Deputy Prime Minsiter) in July this year, heralding the Groups first office outside Europe.
On the political front, Ambassador Gormley met with Supra Mahumapelo, Chair of the SA Parliament's Committee on International Relations and Cooperation for discussions on a wide-range of issues, including bilateral relations, trade and cooperation. This was followed by a quick trip across town for talks with Mireille Wenger, Minister for Finance and Economic Opportunity in the Western Cape, with renewable energy, high-tech construction and higher education links topping the agenda.
"Ceol, craic agus caint" (Music, great company and lively conversation) is how Mr Gormley described the vibe at the Irish South Africa Association (ISAA) AGM. Founded in Cape Town in 2001, the ISSA aims to promote Irish culture, including sports, literature, theatre, dance and music and to act as a forum and contact point for all things Irish and of Irish interest.
From the craic to business matters, Ambassador Gormley shuttled across the city to the Century City Conference Centre, venue of the 2023 Africa Tech Conference. The gathering provided the prefect setting for Irish fintech firm Swoop to announce the extension of its global agreement with Sage in South Africa. A global player in the financial services sector, Swoop is looking to help address the funding gap for South African SME's.
Ireland's Ambassador to South Africa wrapped up his Cape Town tour taking in the sights and sounds of the Mother City, including City Hall, where just after hours after his release, Nelson Mandela addressed South Africa and the world after his 27 year incarceration on Robben Island.