South Africa and Zam­bia strengthen re­la­tions

Vuk'uzenzele - - General - Bathandwa Mbola

Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma had fruit­ful of­fi­cial talks with Zam­bian Pres­i­dent Edgar Lungu dur­ing his State Visit in Lusaka re­cently.

The visit pro­vided a plat­form for both Pres­i­dent Zuma and Pres­i­dent Lungu to de­lib­er­ate on var­i­ous is­sues of mu­tual con­cern as well as to deepen and strengthen bi­lat­eral, po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic and cul­tural re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries.

“It was an im­por­tant visit for South Africa as our aim was to re­view and strengthen the ex­ist­ing strong bi­lat­eral and eco­nomic re­la­tions be­tween the two na­tions and we are all pleased with the out­comes of our talks,” said Pres­i­dent Zuma.

The most im­por­tant high­light of the visit was the el­e­va­tion of the struc­tured bi­lat­eral mech­a­nism be­tween South Africa and Zam­bia from the Joint Com­mis­sion for Co­op­er­a­tion to a com­plete Bi-Na­tional Com­mis­sion (BNC).

The BNC will now be chaired by the two Heads of State.

Pres­i­dent Zuma said the BNC would en­sure that the two coun­tries meet an­nu­ally at the level of Heads of State.

“We be­lieve that this would put the re­quired im­pe­tus to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of agree­ments.

“We have also over the years seen pro­gres­sive ex­pan­sion and deep­en­ing of our bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion. To date, we have con­cluded over 20 agree­ments and Mem­o­randa of Un­der­stand­ing cov­er­ing a wide range of ar­eas,” said Pres­i­dent Zuma.

He said the visit had also pro­vided an op­por­tu­nity to dis­cuss and agree on var­i­ous is­sues, par­tic­u­larly eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion in pri­or­ity sec­tors such as agri­cul­ture and agro-pro­cess­ing, min­ing and min­eral ben­e­fi­ci­a­tion, en­ergy, ICT con­nec­tiv­ity, tourism, arts and cul­ture, as well as the es­tab­lish­ment of re­lated in­dus­tries and sup­port­ive in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment.

The two Heads of State also dis­cussed peace and se­cu­rity is­sues on the con­ti­nent, par­tic­u­larly in the SADC re­gion. They agreed to work to­gether to ad­vance the re­gional in­te­gra­tion agenda, in par­tic­u­lar peace and se­cu­rity of the re­gion.

Dur­ing the visit Pres­i­dent Zuma also of­fi­cially launched the Oliver Tambo Na­tional Her­itage Site to hon­our and cel­e­brate the legacy and cen­te­nary year of one of South Africa’s most re­spected hu­man­ists, a lib­er­a­tion strug­gle stal­wart and for­mer Pres­i­dent of the gov­ern­ing party, Oliver Regi­nald Tambo.

While ex­iled from South Africa dur­ing the apartheid era, Tambo lived in Zam­bia from 1965 to 1991.

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