S.Africa & Burundi structure new relations - CNBC Africa

S.Africa & Burundi structure new relations

Southern Africa

by Trust Matsilele 0

Burundi's president Pierre Nkurunziza has signed an agreement with S.Africa's Jacob Zuma to structure relations. PHOTOS: maliactu

According to the Presidency statement, this important agreement will enhance cooperation in sectors such as agriculture, arts and culture, commerce, education, politics, defence, sports, mining, women empowerment, investment, health, science and technology and finance.

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“The JCC will meet at a Ministerial level and will enable us to implement the General Co-operation Agreement that was signed in 2007,” read the President Jacob Zuma’s statement after talks with his Burundian counterpart President Pierre Nkurunziza.

“We have also signed an agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Arts and Culture.”

The Presidency also said bilateral trade between the two countries has been slowly increasing from 47.7 million rand in 2007 to just over 52 million rand in 2013.

“The business people from both countries should certainly improve these figures by further exploring opportunities in the two countries,” said Zuma.

The statement said the South African business community stands ready to enter into partnerships with their Burundi counterparts.

“We thank you for the cooperation we have always received from you Mr President, in both your capacity as the leader of your party the CNDD-FDD during the peace talks, and also in your role as the President of Burundi,” said Zuma.

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The South African President said in light of the historic bond between the two countries, it was only natural that relations should become more structured and that they should yield more meaningful socio-economic cooperation.

“Our two countries share a rich history of struggle against discrimination and other ills. It is only proper that we should  cooperate in sharing this history through cultural tourism, museums, the restoration of historic sites, the preservation and conservation of monuments, the study of languages, literature and lecture tours.”

Zuma said South Africa has, in the past, worked well with Burundi on regional mediation.

“One of the key achievements of the process was the fact that the African Union constituted the first ever AU peacekeeping mission to Burundi, constituted by South African troops,” Zuma added.

“South Africa and Burundi worked well during that process until our troops returned home in 2009.”