International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane to attend the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s 50th anniversary celebrations – September 30 to October 2nd, 2010

Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane arrives in Nigeria today 30 September 2010 ahead of the 50th Anniversary Celebrations of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Minister’s attendance is within the context of seeking to emphasize the strategic nature and character of our bilateral relations, as aptly captured by the South Africa-Nigeria Bi-National Commission (BNC).Minister Mashabane on behalf of the South African government will use the visit to support the government of Nigeria in efforts to uplift the life of its people economically.

It is South Africa’s view that Nigeria and Nigerians as they celebrate 50 years of Independence - have to be encouraged to reflect on the journey so-far travelled and strides recorded, in the quest for the oneness of their country and the Minister will be bringing to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, messages of support as the country strives for democratic consolidation and nation-building.

During the visit the Minister will also meet the Chairperson of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Professor Attahiru Jega in the context of supporting the envisaged cooperation with South Africa’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

SA and Nigeria enjoy cordial relations politically and economically. With regard to bilateral trade that exists between South Africa and Nigeria, the Federal Republic presents huge opportunities for South Africa.

The trade relations between the two countries registered substantial growth over the period 1999 to 2007, from R1, 8 billion in 1999 to R20, 9 billion in 2009. Exports to Nigeria, which were constituted by gold, diamonds, platinum, other metals and minerals, machinery and equipment amounted to R5,4 billion in 2009, whilst Imports from Nigeria are mainly petroleum and minor quantities of chemicals and scientific instrument which amounted to R15,5 billion in 2009. 

It is our view that a strong Nigeria is in the best interest of our common effort of advancing the African agenda. We thus join the peoples of Africa both in celebration as well as in encouraging Nigeria to live up to our common expectations.

For more information, call Mr Saul Kgomotso Molobi, Chief Director for Public Diplomacy, at +27 82 940 1647, +27 12 351 0083 or email him at

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation

460 Soutpansberg Road


30 September 2010


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