PRETORIA–The African continent will remain central to South Africa’s foreign policy imperatives, says International Relations and Co-operation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.
Guided by the principles and vision of the National Development Plan (NDP) and South Africa’s national interest, we are driven by a vision to create and achieve a continent that is peaceful, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist, united and prosperous, which contributes to a world that is just and equitable, she says.
Outlining the priorities and programmes of her department in the 2018/19 fiscal year here Tuesday, she said South Africa’s focus on the continent would be on the strengthening of bilateral relations, the promotion of peace, security and stability, economic co-operation and integration and the enhancement of the African Agenda.
South Africa has actively participated in bilateral and multilateral efforts to resolve some of the continent’s pressing conflict areas such as those in Lesotho, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Madagascar, Burundi, South Sudan, Somalia, the Central Africa Republic (CAR), Mali and Libya, she noted.
South Africa also remains engaged in the peace and security dynamics of the Horn of Africa, the Sahel, the Great Lakes and the Lake Chad Basin sub-regions. In the new fiscal year, Sisulu said, South Africa will continue to play its part in conflict resolution in these countries and respective regions.
In addition, South Africa re-affirms its continued solidarity to assist the people of Western Sahara in pursuit of their inalienable right to self-determination and de-colonisation.
She reiterated that South Africa also remains steadfast in its rejection of all acts of terrorism and extremism which have increasingly affected countries on the continent, contributing negatively to internal instability.
South Africa will also continue to use its membership of the Group of 20 (G20) developed and emerging economies to promote inclusive growth and development.
In this regard, the country, as co-chair of the Development Working Group, will prioritise G20 support for addressing the scourge of illicit financial flows, Industrialization in Africa and Least Developed Countries, the implementation of the G20 Africa Partnership and enhanced G20 support to developing countries by providing the means of implementation for achieving the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
These initiatives, Sisulu said, are aimed at positively impacting the development trajectory of Africa and the developing world and contribute positively to achieving the global commitment of leaving no one behind.
Meanwhile, she said, it’s all systems go for South Africa to host the 10th BRICS Summit from July 25 to 27 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, which will see South Africa building on the BRICS programme of development and prosperity for the partner countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
The five BRICS countries account for 26 per cent of the world’s landmass and are home to 43 per cent of the world’s population. The bloc is composed of emerging markets and the developing world.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK