“The proportion of female representation in the leadership of these missions is 30 percent, which inspires hope for more advancement towards gender equity in these missions in the near future,” he said in a speech prepared for delivery at the Inaugural Ubuntu Diplomacy Awards in Cape Town.
“In these missions we also have about 28 trade officials and we aspire to increase the number, as we still have 53 vacant positions,” Zuma added.
He said the modern diplomat needs to not only broker political ties, but also ensure economic returns for a country.
The department of international relations and co-operation would continue working with the department of trade industry, Brand SA and SA Tourism to help strengthen officers’ “economic acumen”.
He commended the business community for promoting the South African brand.
He said people receiving awards had demonstrated it was possible to attain ones goals whilst creating a positive image of the country.
The event was to honour organisations and individuals for their contribution to promoting the country’s national interests and values across the world.