JOHANNESBURG, October 12 – President Jacob Zuma arrived on a two-day state visit to Zambia on Thursday to meet with President Edgar Lungu.
Prior to Zuma’s arrival SA International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane arrived in Lusaka on Wednesday to co-chair the Second Session of the Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) with her Zambian counterpart, Minister Harry Kalaba of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Agreement to establish a Joint Commission for the operationalisation of the 1996 General Agreement was signed on October 18, 2005. The Joint Commission was inaugurated in Pretoria, South Africa on December 7, 2016.
The JCC is a structured bilateral mechanism which meets annually and avails an opportunity for the two countries to deepen cooperation and to furthermore explore new areas of mutual benefit.
There is a standing Mid-Term Review under the JCC which monitors and ensures the implementation of decisions and signed agreements.
The areas of cooperation between the two countries cover a wide scope of fields which amongst others are in Agriculture, Energy, Mineral resources, Trade, Finance, Defence, Environment, Public Enterprises, Science and Technology, Health, Labour, Arts and Culture, Tourism.
New areas of cooperation are being explored and a MoU will be initiated in these areas, namely, ICT, Broadcasting, Higher and Basic Education, Youth Affairs, Sport and Recreation, Small Business Development, Public Works, and Local government. Cooperation between the two countries has been growing.
To date, there are more than twenty agreements/MoU signed between the two countries. Bilateral trade between South Africa and Zambia has increased substantially since 1994.
The total exports to Zambia in 2016 amounted to R30, 5 billion and total imports from Zambia amounted to R2.7 billion thus firmly placing Zambia among South Africa’s top three trading partners on the continent.
President Jacob Zuma will visit Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Satruday, 15 October 2017, in his capacity as chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
“The President will hold discussions with President Joseph Kabila Kabange on the issues of peace and security in the Great Lakes region, particularly the situation in the DRC,” the presidency said in a statement issued Wednesday.
“SADC is committed to assist the government and the people of the DRC to achieve sustainable peace, security and stability.”
Reports from the DRC on Wednesday quoted that country’s electoral commission saying the vote to replace Kabila, whose term expired in December, expected by the end of the year will now not happen before the start of 2019.
Kabila has been allowed to stay on in power in exchange for guarantees that elections will be held.
Zuma will be accompanied on his visit to the DRC by International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.
– African News Agency (ANA)