President Jacob Zuma on South Africa-Mozambique Binational Commission progress

President Zuma pleased with the progress registered at the South Africa-Mozambique Bi-National Commission

President Jacob Zuma has applauded the registered progress at the second session of the South Africa-Mozambique Binational Commission (BNC) in Maputo where political, economic and social relations have been taken to a higher level.

The President has concluded his successful Working Visit to Mozambique this afternoon, where he co-chaired the BNC with President Filipe Nyusi of the Republic of Mozambique.

The two Presidents took stock of the progress made since the inception of the BNC in 2015, and both agreed that the bilateral cooperation between South Africa and Mozambique had gone from strength to strength.

The relations between the two countries have expanded to various areas, including agriculture, arts and culture, trade and investment, energy, mining, banking, telecommunication, defence and security, water, environment, transport, immigration as well as science and technology.

“We have noted that we need to do more to further expand cooperation. We have thus directed our Ministers to ensure a full implementation of all the signed Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding,” said President Zuma.

To date, seventy sectoral agreements have been signed between the two countries, demonstrating the strength and the depth of bilateral cooperation, while discussions were underway to conclude other instruments including in the areas of trade and higher education and training.

President Zuma and President Nyusi also discussed the need for increased economic cooperation, which is an apex priority for the two countries, noting that it was through economic growth that the peoples of their respective countries could be uplifted out of poverty and unemployment.

Trade relations between the two countries remain strong, with about 300 South African companies operating in Mozambique.

President Zuma further invited the business community in both countries to take advantage of the existing opportunities in the two respective countries to invest and expand the existing businesses.

He said the BNC session was in line with the 37th Ordinary Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government which met in Pretoria last weekend which emphasised the need for strong partnerships with the private sector in SADC, in the pursuit of economic development and progress.

The two Heads of State also stressed the importance of maintaining peace and stability in their respective countries and in the SADC region.

In this regard, President Zuma said: “I wish to commend His Excellency President Nyusi for his continued commitment towards achieving lasting peace through reaching out to the leader of Renamo.”

“We fully support the peace initiatives and stand fully behind you Mr President as you continue the process,” he added.

President Zuma said the developmental goals that the two countries aspired to were linked to the objectives of Agenda 2063, of silencing the guns in Africa by 2020 and that a peaceful and stable Africa would translate into a developed Africa.

The two leaders also underscored that good governance and democracy remained the strong pillars upholding peace and stability in the region and Continent.

“We therefore commend the sister nations of Rwanda and Kenya who recently held successful general elections, and have also noted the general elections that were held this week in Angola this week,” President Zuma said.

“On the environment,” he continued, “we welcomed the fact that the region is slowly recovering from the adverse effects of the El Nino weather patterns and the drought which affected food production and energy shortages. We will continue to work together to mitigate the impact of such extreme weather patterns in our region.”

President Zuma also extended South Africa’s heartfelt gratitude to the Government of Mozambique for declaring the Matola Raid Monument a National Heritage site in June 2017.

The President said “the Matola Raid and Interpretive Centre is a reminder of the joint history of struggle and solidarity that we share, which is the reason for the unbreakable ties between the two nations.”

President Zuma concluded by congratulating Mozambique for the successful hosting of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) simultaneously with the SA-Mozambique BNC, where South Africa had another delegation participating in the TICAD, given the importance of the meeting, which seeks to boost economic development cooperation.

President Zuma was accompanied by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane; Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies; Minister of Environmental Affairs, Ms Edna Molewa, Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa, Minister of Energy, Ms Mmamoloko Kubayi and the Minister of Transport, Mr Joe Maswanganyi.

Source: Government of South Africa