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logo_white_small.png Jamaica South Africa Friendship Association (JASAFA), through its recently elected executive, has rolled out a number of new initiatives to help strengthen links among the people of Jamaica and South Africa. The new executive held its first general meeting on Friday at the Jamaica Trade and Invest offices under the leadership of its new President and Financial Investment specialist, Leo Williams.

The association was formed some three years ago to foster closer friendship and understanding among the peoples of Jamaica and South Africa and their respective regions.

JASAFA says it will be looking at a number of cultural exchange programmes and according to one of its executive members, Sheena Johnson-Brown , “ This may be our largest portal into greater trade and other interaction with South Africa . We already have more than one interested parties on our doorstep trying to either visit Jamaica with productions or have artistes from Jamaica participate in festivals. We have been holding high level meetings on these plans. Our Minister of Culture and the South African High Commission in Jamaica have expressed their support for our plans’”, she noted.

With plans in high gear for the staging of World Cup in South Africa in June 2010, JASAFA is looking for ways to facilitate the anticipated vibrant support from Jamaica and is investigating (among other mechanisms), affordable travel options between the two countries. JASAFA is linking the travel plans with special bed and breakfast arrangements that President Williams says will allow Jamaicans to experience the real culture of the people of South Africa.

‘Through the bed and breakfast arrangements, Jamaicans will get to see South Africa not from the high rise, glass screens of a hotel room, but on the ground and in the homes of our South African brothers and sisters’.

Still on the business side, JASAFA is looking at the possibility of twinning of the cities of Kingston and Pretoria . Pretoria has been selected according to Communications Consultant Berl Francis, ‘because that’s where we have our Jamaica mission, so we have opted to start there’.