President Mbeki to attend Africa-South America Summit

Pretoria - South African President Thabo Mbeki, supported by Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad, will attend the inaugural Africa - South America Summit in Abuja, Nigeria on Thursday 30 November 2006.

President Mbeki will participate in this Summit within the context of South Africa's commitment to strengthen and consolidate South-South co-operation.

Accordingly, the Summit provides a good opportunity for both continents to reach a clear understanding of areas of common interest and prospects for co-operation and enhanced collaboration to foster a stronger strategic partnership on a South-South axis that would provide the context for consolidating and invigorating relations.

The decision to convene this Summit was adopted at the African Union Summit held in Khartoum, Sudan in January 2006 on the Africa-Diaspora process and reiterated at the Summit in Banjul, the Gambia in July 2006.

Indeed there are historic links between these two continents. Both have endured the system of colonialism which was characterised by exploitation, slavery and abuse. South America should be commended for playing a superlative role waged by African peoples for political independence, human dignity and economic emancipation.

Issues on the agenda for deliberations and exploration of co-operation opportunities at the Summit are expected to include, among others:

  • Peace and security;
  • Democracy, governance, human rights and other political issues;
  • Agriculture and agribusiness, water resources and the environment;
  • Trade and investment between both continents including market access, investment projects and financial resources;
  • The fight against poverty and underdevelopment;
  • Infrastructure development;
  • Energy and social materials;
  • Social and cultural co-operation, tourism and sports;
  • Health and education;
  • Science, technology and ICT; and
  • Co-operation in multilateral fora.

    The Summit will be preceded by a meeting of senior officials and ministerial session scheduled from Sunday-Monday 26-27 November and Tuesday 28 November 2006 respectively.

    President Mbeki is expected to return to South Africa on Friday 1 December 2006.

    Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853

    Department of Foreign Affairs
    Private Bag X152

    22 November 2006
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