SOUTH AFRICA, ZAMBIA MEET TO STRENGTHEN RELATIONS

LUSAKA, South Africa’s International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane is in Lusaka, Zambia, for the second session of the Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC).

Nkoana-Mashabane is co-chairing the session with her Zambian counterpart, Harry Kalaba, ahead of President Jacob Zuma’s two-day State visit, which starts Thursday.

The JCC is a structured bilateral mechanism, which meets annually and avails an opportunity for the two countries to deepen cooperation and further 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.

Economic cooperation between South Africa and Zambia is steadily growing, with South African exports to Zambia amounting to approximately R30 billion in 2016.

Zambia remains one of South Africa’s top trading partners in the region and the continent, with over 20 agreements/MoUs signed between the two countries.

The two countries cooperate in a variety of areas, including trade and investment, science and technology, defence, agriculture, environment, energy as well as health.

According to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco), new areas of cooperation are being explored and a MoU will be initiated in ICT, broadcasting, higher and basic education, youth affairs, sport and recreation, small business development, public works and local government.

There are over 120 South African companies doing business in Zambia in various sectors, including telecommunications, aviation, tourism, banking, property, retail, entertainment and fast foods.

President Zuma’s State visit is scheduled to take place on Thursday and Friday, where he will hold bilateral talks with President Edgar Lungu.

Interactions between the two Heads of State during this visit are aimed at deepening and strengthening the already existing political, economic and cultural relations underpinned by strong historical ties that date back from the years of the liberation struggle.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK