Minister Nkoana-Mashabane to chair session on SA-Mali cooperation

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane will, together with her Malian counterpart, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation Hon Mr. Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga, co-chair the 3rd Session of the South Africa-Mali Joint Commission for Co-operation (SA-Mali JCC) on Thursday, 10 November 2011, in Cape Town.

The session of the JCC follows shortly after Minister Nkoana-Mashabane’s first Working Visit to the Republic of Mali, Bamako, on the 22 June 2011. The session will take place within the context of South Africa's priority objectives of strengthening bilateral political, economic and trade relations with Mali.

Issues on the agenda for discussions between Minister Nkoana-Mashabane and Minister Maiga will focus, inter alia, on:

  • The status of bilateral, political and economic relations between South Africa and Mali;
  • The conclusion of proposed draft bilateral agreements and a review of progress in various areas of co-operation such as Agriculture, Arts and Culture, Defence, Education, Health, Minerals and Energy, Science and Technology, Trade and Industry and Transport.
  • Other issues of multilateral importance, including Malian support when South Africa hosts COP17/CMP7 later this year.  

South Africa and Mali enjoy close and warm bilateral relations. Mali’s strong support for the African Renaissance initiative and NEPAD, as well as its strong commitment to the promotion of democracy and good governance, demonstrate the close relations.

The completion and handing over by South Africa of the Ahmed Baba Institute of Higher Learning and Islamic Research in Timbuktu remains a cornerstone achievement of the relationship. The Institute has recently been recognised as the first Cultural Programme of NEPAD. The Ahmed Baba Institute will remain an significant venue for bilateral research programmes into the ancient scientific and cultural information contained in the preserved manuscripts.

Since the establishment of the Joint Commission in 2000, South Africa has been involved in several assistance projects in Mali. These projects include the funding of the Cuban Medical Brigade deployed in the rural areas of Mali, assistance to the country for its hosting of the 2002 African Cup of Nations Tournament, and its fight against the locust invasion in 2004.

On an economic level, the Government of South Africa has in October 2011 endorsed that Eskom Enterprises renews their term for the hydro-electrical generation project in Manantali, a joint initiative between the governments of Mali, Senegal and Mauritania. This was done with the view that this project will form the basis of increased cooperation between the respective power pools in the two countries as well as the regional Economic Communities.

In addition to the commercial opportunities that the relationship between South Africa and Mali presents, tourism between the two countries remains an important growth sector.

For further information please contact Mr. Clayson Monyela, spokesperson for DIRCO, on 082 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road
Rietondale
Pretoria 

06 November 2011

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