Joint Communique on the occasion of the Third Session of the South Africa Botswana Bi-National Commission (BNC)

1. At the invitation of His Excellency Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency Lieutenant General Dr. Seretse Khama Ian Khama, President of the Republic of Botswana, visited South Africa on 11 November 2016.

2. Both Heads of State were accompanied by delegations of Ministers and Senior Government Officials. The meeting of the two Heads of State was preceded by a Ministerial Meeting which took place on 10 November 2016 and a Senior Officials' Meeting which was held from 8-9 November 2016.

3. The Bi-National Commission was Co-Chaired by His Excellency President Zuma and His Excellency President Khama.

4. During the official talks, the two Heads of State reviewed a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues. They expressed satisfaction at the strong bilateral relations existing between the two countries, which are founded on long standing historical, political, economic, social and cultural ties.

5. The two Leaders noted with appreciation the vast nature of the bilateral cooperation which includes, amongst others; trade and investment, energy, agriculture, tourism, infrastructure development, mining, defence and security, immigration, environment, transport and communications.

6. Their Excellencies further noted that 36 Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding have over the years been signed between the two countries covering immigration, defence and security, energy, trade, transport and environment, inter alia.

7. The two Heads of State emphasised the need to fully implement all the Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding, as well as the decisions of the Third Session of the Bi-National Commission.

8. The two Heads of State emphasised the importance of the ongoing economic cooperation between the two countries in terms of trade and investment; and further called for the implementation of the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap.

9. The Heads of State took note of the negative effects of the El Nino weather phenomenon, and the subsequent drought and lack of rainfall in their respective countries and within the region. The Leaders underscored the need to find a comprehensive response to the drought and mitigate the negative impact of climate change.

10. His Excellency President Zuma congratulated His Excellency President Khama for his leadership as the Outgoing Chairperson of SADC, and in return, His Excellency President Khama congratulated His Excellency President Zuma on his election as the Incoming Chairperson of SADC.

11. The Heads of State also exchanged views on the political and security developments in the region and the Continent. In this regard, they reaffirmed their commitment to working together in pursuit of sustainable peace and stability in the region.

12. Furthermore, the Leaders expressed concern on the continuing peace and security challenges in the Continent, particularly the emergence of extremism and terrorism. In this regard, they highlighted the need for coordinated and collaborative continental efforts to deal with these challenges.

13. The two Leaders also expressed their commitment to African unity and the implementation of the AU Agenda 2063 and its Action Plan.

14. The two Heads of State reaffirmed their support for the SADC candidate for the post of the AU Commission Chairperson, Honourable Dr. Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, the Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation of the Republic of Botswana.

15. The two Heads of State reiterated their common view on the need to reform multilateral institutions, particularly the United Nations Security Council and the Bretton Woods Institutions to better represent the interest of the developing countries.

16. During the Bi-National Commission, the two Heads of State witnessed the signing of the Rules of Procedure of the Bi-National Commission.

17. His Excellency, President Khama expressed his gratitude for the warm welcome and hospitality accorded to him and his delegation.

18. His Excellency, President Lieutenant General Dr. Seretse Khama Ian Khama extended an invitation to His Excellency, President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma to visit Botswana for the Fourth Session of the Bi-National Commission (BNC) during 2017 on a date to be mutually determined through diplomatic channels.

Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa.

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