Deputy Minister Ebrahim to Co-Chair the 8th South Africa-Cuba Joint Consultative Mechanism, 28-29 July 2010

The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Ebrahim Ebrahim, will co-chair the 8th South Africa-Cuba Joint Consultative Mechanism (JCM) Meeting scheduled from today, 28 July 2010, to tomorrow in Pretoria.

The 8th JCM Meeting takes place against the background of solid bilateral and fraternal relations established during the past 16 years of official diplomatic relations. Both countries have consistently confirmed the important and critical role played by the two mechanisms, namely, the Consultative Mechanism and the Joint Bilateral Commission (JBC) with a view of enhancing interaction not only in strengthening relations in the stipulated fields but also in the broader political sphere.

The JCM is an annual forum to review political bilateral and multilateral issues of mutual interest and will make provision for the two countries to address issues of national, regional and international concern.

There are more than 400 architects, engineers, electricians and other technical experts deployed throughout South Africa by various line function departments, e.g. Human Settlements, Public Works and Social Development. Currently through the Health Cooperation Agreement, more than 500 South Africans have undergone training in Cuba through the medical scholarship programme. There are currently 300 students studying in Cuba, and 103 doctors working in South Africa.

Cuba’s long-standing history of cooperation in Africa and also through trilateral cooperation projects has provided much-needed healthcare in the continent.

Trade Relations

Although bilateral trade remains low, there has been a steady increase in trade over the past few years. The two countries are working at a strategy both within the JCM and JBC to address the trade gaps.

This year a SA business delegation, led by the Minister of Communications, Mr Siphiwe Nyanda, was in Cuba to boost ties in the telecommunication industry. This was then followed by the Department of Environment which also visited Cuba to establish concrete bilateral relations on a number of specific projects.

For more information please contact Saul Kgomotso Molobi, Chief Director for Public Diplomacy, on +27 82 940 1647, +27 12 351 0083 or email him at molobisk@dirco.gov.za.  

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation
Private Bag X152
PRETORIA, 0001

28 July 2010

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