Deputy President Mbete to Co-Chair the Second Review Council Meeting of the South Africa –Nigeria BNC, 24 February 2009, Abuja, Nigeria

Pretoria – South African Deputy President, Ms Baleka Mbete, will today Monday 23 February 2009 depart for Nigeria where she will lead a South African delegation to the Second Review Council Meeting of the South Africa-Nigeria Bi-National Commission to be held on Tuesday 24 February 2009 in Abuja, Nigeria.

The Deputy President will be accompanied by a number of Ministers participating in various sectors of the Commission.

The Review Council Meeting, which will be preceded by a meeting of officials on 22-23 February 2009, will focus on:

  • The status of bilateral political, economic and trade relations between the two countries;
  • Strengthening of the structures of the BNC
  • Activities for the commemoration of the 10 year Anniversary of the BNC
  • Political, socio-economic and continental and regional developments;
  • Issues of global interest.

Nigeria is considered as one of South Africa's most important partners on the African continent in pursuing the vision of an Africa renewal.

The visit of the Deputy President will further enhance the very strong bilateral relations that already exist between the two countries.  Deputy President Mbete and her delegation are scheduled to depart from Nigeria on 25 February 2009.

Bilateral Economic Co-operation

Nigeria is regarded as West Africa's economic powerhouse, contributing over 40% of West Africa's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Petroleum plays a major role in the Nigerian economy, accounting for 40% of the country’s GDP.

With its large population and natural resources the country has become South Africa’s most important trading partner on the continent. The trade relations between Nigeria and South Africa registered substantial growth over the period 1999 to 2007, from R181 3578 000 to almost R11 billion in 2007. This increase in growth can be attributed to an increase in the demand for energy resources in South Africa; hence 98% of imports from Nigeria comprises of crude oil.

Over the years South African companies have become major players in almost all sectors of the Nigerian economy. The biggest investment by South African companies in Nigeria has been in the telecommunications sector. Other sectors that South Africa is currently involved in include banking, property, retail, media, mining, construction, tourism, agriculture, entertainment, and the fast food franchising. These sectors still present a lot of opportunities for South Africa and competition in these markets is still limited.

Exports to Nigeria:

2006   R4,001,100
2007   R4,833,688
2008   R1,536,947

Imports from Nigeria

2006   R9,285,923
2007   R12,480,199
2008   R1,536,074

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853

Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag x X152

23 February 2009



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