In­ter­na­tional re­la­tions

Public Sector Manager - - Con­tents -

SA ce­ments ties in Africa

Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma re­cently met with his coun­ter­parts from Sene­gal, Zim­babwe and Zam­bia fur­ther strength­en­ing South Africa's re­la­tions with th­ese coun­tries.

South Africa and Zim­babwe signed sev­eral agree­ments dur­ing the Bi-Na­tional Com­mis­sion (BNC), cochaired by Pres­i­dent Zuma and Zim­bab­wean Pres­i­dent Robert Mu­gabe in Tsh­wane re­cently.

The agree­ments are in the ar­eas of en­ergy, en­vi­ron­ment, in­for­ma­tion com­mu­ni­ca­tions tech­nolo­gies and sports and re­cre­ation.

Th­ese are in ad­di­tion to the 40 bi­lat­eral agree­ments and me­moranda of un­der­stand­ing (MoU) be­tween the two coun­tries.

In a com­mu­nique is­sued after the bi­lat­eral talks, the two Pres­i­dents di­rected that th­ese agree­ments be fully im­ple­mented and out­stand­ing ones be fi­nalised.

The BNC also saw the estab­lish­ment of a Joint Tech­ni­cal Com­mit­tee whose man­date, among other things, will be to de­velop the nec­es­sary le­gal frame­work for the estab­lish­ment of the One Stop Bor­der Post at Beit­bridge bor­der post.

The two heads of state reaf­firmed the strate­gic im­por­tance of the pro­ject − at the busiest road bor­der post in Africa − and di­rected the rel­e­vant min­is­ters to fast­track its op­er­a­tional­i­sa­tion.

Ben­e­fits for SA and Zim­babwe

The two coun­tries stand to ben­e­fit im­mensely from the smooth move­ment of peo­ple and goods, har­monised pro­cesses and im­proved in­fra­struc­ture, which will come with the in­tro­duc­tion of this pro­ject.

They also com­mit­ted to use their bi­lat­eral re­la­tions to push for the eco­nomic eman­ci­pa­tion of their peo­ple. Pres­i­dent Zuma said to achieve this both coun­tries must fo­cus on the trans­for­ma­tion of the econ­omy.

“The di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion of our economies and in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion will ul­ti­mately put the re­gion on the right path as the global econ­omy con­tin­ues to play its own role,” he said.

The two heads of state re­it­er­ated their com­mit­ment to im­prov­ing and strength­en­ing the eco­nomic re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries by fa­cil­i­tat­ing trade and re­mov­ing im­ped­i­ments con­strain­ing bi­lat­eral trade and in­vest­ments.

Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe said he was happy to join hands with South Africa to en­sure this trans­for­ma­tion.

“This strate­gic part­ner­ship is an in­stru­ment for

achiev­ing the pro­found trans­for­ma­tion of our coun­tries' economies, so let us join hands.”

Fruit­ful talks with Zam­bia

Pres­i­dent Zuma also had fruit­ful of­fi­cial talks with Zam­bian Pres­i­dent Edgar Lungu dur­ing his state visit to Lusaka.

“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.

An 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 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

MoU cov­er­ing a wide range of ar­eas.”

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

Pres­i­dent Zuma and Pres­i­dent Lungu also ad­dressed the Zam­bia-South Africa Busi­ness Fo­rum held on the side­lines of the state visit to bol­ster eco­nomic re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries both in the public and pri­vate sec­tor.

“As we el­e­vate our re­la­tions at gov­ern­ment level, it is very im­por­tant for the busi­ness sec­tor from both coun­tries to en­hance co­op­er­a­tion to en­sure in­clu­sive eco­nomic growth that will lib­er­ate our peo­ple from poverty, un­em­ploy­ment and in­equal­ity.

“I was happy to have an op­por­tu­nity to ad­dress the Busi­ness Fo­rum ear­lier and we gave the pri­vate sec­tor a clear di­rec­tive that both coun­tries are open for busi­ness.”

Dur­ing the visit, Pres­i­dent Zuma of­fi­cially launched the Oliver Tambo Na­tional Her­itage Site to hon­our and cel­e­brate the legacy and cen­te­nary year of Oliver Tambo.

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

Sene­galese Pres­i­dent vis­its SA

Sene­galese Pres­i­dent Macky Sall and Pres­i­dent Zuma dis­cussed ties be­tween the two coun­tries dur­ing Pres­i­dent Sall's state visit to South Africa.

Speak­ing after a meet­ing with Pres­i­dent Sall in Cape Town, Pres­i­dent Zuma said the main ob­jec­tive of the visit was to re­view the bi­lat­eral re­la­tions and co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries, re­flect on the progress made and dis­cuss new ar­eas of co­op­er­a­tion.

“Dur­ing our dis­cus­sions we fo­cused on a wide range of

Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma and Zim­bab­wean Pres­i­dent Robert Mu­gabe re­cently co-chaired the Bi-Na­tional Com­mis­sion.

Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma and Zam­bian Pres­i­dent Edgar Lungu ex­change greet­ings dur­ing a state visit to Lusaka.

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