Jean-Jacques Cornish

French Trade Minister’s visit is the first since South Africa re-opened its borders post the COVID 19 lockdown

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The first foreign cabinet minister to visit South Africa since the COVID 19 lockdown was lifted has ended a three-day visit.

France’s  Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness Minister Franck Riester, reaffirms his country’s commitment to stand by South Africa in these challenging times and to support mutual economic partnerships with South Africa 

A statement from the French Embassy in Pretoria says that as a key partner within the G20 and the United Nations, and also as chair of the African Union, South Africa has been a key partner for France in the fight against the pandemic. 

Riester visit “ sends a strong message of support and solidarity to Africa, following the initiatives taken by President Emmanuel Macron and President Cyril Ramaphosa since the start of the crisis. 

“These initiatives have made it possible, in particular, to set up a collective, coordinated international response under the guidance of the WHO, as well as a new mechanism for research and the pre-purchase of vaccines for vulnerable countries, namely the COVAX initiative supported by France and South Africa. 

“The SANOFI laboratory, with a strong presence in South Africa, has just announced that it will supply 200 million doses through this mechanism, once a vaccine has been found,” concludes the statement. 

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Jean-Jacques Cornish is a journalist and broadcaster who has been involved in the media all his adult life.

Starting as a reporter on his hometown newspaper, he moved briefly to then Rhodesia before returning to South Africa to become a parliamentary correspondent with the South African Press Association. He was sent to London as Sapa’s London editor and also served as special correspondent to the United Nations. He joined the then Argus group in London as political correspondent.

Returning to South Africa after 12 years abroad, he was assistant editor on the Pretoria News for a decade before becoming editor of the Star and SA Times for five years.

Since 1999 he’s been an independent journalist writing and broadcasting – mainly about Africa – for Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape
Talk, Radio France International, PressTV, Radio Live New Zealand, Business Day, Mail & Guardian, the BBC, Agence France Press,
Business in Africa, Leadership, India Today, the South African Institute for International Affairs and the Institute for Security Studies.

He has hosted current affairs talk shows on Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk. He appears as an African affairs pundit on SABC Africa and CNBC Africa.
He lectured in contemporary studies to journalism students at the Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Pretoria.

He speaks on African affairs to corporate and other audiences.
He has been officially invited as a journalist to more than 30 countries. He was the winner of the 2007 SADC award for radio journalism.

He’s been a member of the EISA team observing elections in Somaliland, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Tunsiai.

In October 2009 he headed a group of 39 African journalists to the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Peoples’ Republic of China.

In January 2010 he joined a rescue and paramedical team to earthquake struck Haiti.

He is immediate past president of the Alliance Francaise of Pretoria.

Jean-Jacques is a director of Giant Media. The company was given access to Nelson Mandela in his retirement years until 2009.
He is co-producer of the hour-long documentary Mandela at 90 that was broadcast on BBC in January 2009.