President Zuma to visit two West African countries

His Excellency, President Jacob Zuma, will undertake a two-nation working visit to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Republic of Benin on 10 and 11 December 2011 respectively. The working visits take place within the context of deepening South Africa's bilateral political, economic and trade relations with Nigeria and Benin with a view to advancing the African Agenda.

In Nigeria President Zuma will have consultations with his counterpart, His Excellency President Goodluck Jonathan, with respect to developments within the South Africa–Nigeria Bi-National Commission (BNC), and with regard to regional and continental issues of mutual interest.

Bilateral political relations between South Africa and Nigeria are strong. Nigeria is South Africa’s largest trading partner within the West Africa region. Trade relations between the two economies registered substantial growth between the period 2008 and 2010.

While in Nigeria, President Zuma will attend the First Memorial Lecture at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja as a Special Guest of Honour. President Zuma will also receive an Honorary Doctoral degree in Philosophy at the American University of Nigeria in Yola, the state capital of Adamawa State.

President Zuma’s visit to the Republic of Benin is aimed at strengthening the already existing cordial relations between the two countries which dates back to the liberation struggle period.President Zuma and his counterpart, His Excellency President Boni Yayi, will discuss and concretise cooperation in key bilateral priority areas such as transport.

It is expected that the Bilateral Air Services Agreement will be signed during the visit. The two Presidents will also use the occasion to exchange views in respect of developments at regional level, both with regard to ECOWAS and SADC, as well as discuss broad issues affecting the continent within the context of the AU. Finally, President Zuma will be honoured with an Honorary Doctorate degree by Benin’s University of Abomey-Calavi.

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
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07 December 2011
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