President Thabo Mbeki to Pay State Visits to Gabon and Congo-Brazzaville, Tuesday, 2 - Friday, 5 August 2005

Tshwane - South African President and Mrs. Thabo Mbeki, accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, will depart South Africa on Monday 1 August on a two-nation African visit to Gabon and Congo-Brazzaville from Tuesday-Thursday, 2-5 August 2005. Other members of the presidential delegation include Ministers Mandisi Mpahlwa, Dr. Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, Dr. Pallo Jordan, Naledi Pandor and Jeff Radebe.

The state visit to Gabon and Congo-Brazzaville, respectively, takes place within the context of South Africa's commitment to strengthen bilateral political and economic relations with all countries on the continent.

Pursuant to this objective, President Mbeki will hold bilateral political and economic discussions with his counterparts President El Hadj Omar Bongo Ondimba and President Denis Sassou Nguesso respectively, to discuss among others:


  • The status of bilateral political and economic relations between South Africa and each of the countries with particular reference to trade and industry, health, education, arts, culture and transport;
  • Regional peacekeeping and conflict resolution initiatives including the situation in Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tomé and Principé, the Central African Republic and Chad;
  • Preparations for Presidential elections to be held in December 2005 in Gabon;
  • President Mbeki is expected to brief his counterparts on the outcome of the recently concluded G-8 Summit in Scotland and the implications for the African Agenda;
  • And the comprehensive reform of the UN system

During the visit to Gabon, President Mbeki and President Ondimba are expected to officiate at the signing ceremony of the following agreements


  • Reciprocal Protection and Promotion of Investments;
  • Maritime Matters;
  • Cooperation in the Fields of Arts and Culture; and
  • Cooperation in the Fields of Education, Training and Higher Education.

Whilst in Congo-Brazzaville, President Mbeki and President Denis Sassou Nguesso will witness the signing of:

  • Trade Agreement;
  • Agreement on the Reciprocal Protection and Promotion of Investments;
  • Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Health;
  • Protocol to the General Cooperation Agreement on Regular Diplomatic Consultation; and
  • Declaration of Intent to Implement Cultural Cooperation.

President Mbeki is expected to return to South Africa on Friday, 5 August 2005.

Bilateral Economic Relations between South Africa and Gabon

SA exports

2000 R140 909 000
2001 R127 796 000
2002 R212 672 000
2003 R119 925 000
2004 R150 919 000

SA imports

2000 R 24 363 000
2001 R 569 545 000
2002 R1 227 187 000
2003 R 52 925 000
2004 R 164 603 000
(Source: SA DTI 2004)

Bilateral Economic Relations between South Africa and the Republic of Congo
Since 2000, there was a steady increase in trade between South Africa and the Republic of Congo, but there was a decrease in exports to the Republic of Congo in 2003 and 2004, while there was also a decrease in imports in 2004.

South African companies currently involved in the Republic of Congo include Spoornet, Protea Hotels, Vodacom and Executive Aerospace.

SA exports to

2000. R178 172 000
2001. R256 300 000
2002. R346 727 000
2003. R281 139 000
2004. R262 220 000

Imports from

2000 R 4 765 000
2001. R 13 470 000
2002. R 31 250 000
2003. R140 461 000
2004. R 86 386 000
(Source: DTI: 2004)

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853

Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
31 July 2005

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa