President Jacob G. Zuma will lead a delegation to the 7th session of SA-DRC BI-National Commission

President Jacob G Zuma will lead a delegation to the 7th session of the Bi-National Commission (BNC) between South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) scheduled to take place on 21 June 2011 in Lubumbashi, DRC.

The RSA-DRC BNC was established in January 2004 following the signing of the General Co-operation Agreement by the two countries - with the first BNC launched in August of that year. Since then, six BNC meetings have been successfully convened between the two countries. To date 26 bilateral agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) have been signed.

The forthcoming Summit will be preceded by a Ministerial Meeting scheduled for 20 June 2011 and a Senior Officials Meeting from 16 – 17 June 2011.

South Africa’s involvement in the DRC is largely aimed at assisting the country in its Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development. In this regard, South Africa’s support over the years has focused on three key areas: Institutional Capacity Building; the Security Sector Reform (SSR) and Economic Development. With regards to Institutional Capacity Building, various Government Departments have been running training programmes including the training of the DRC’s diplomats; conducting a national public servants census, population register and immigration matters.

In support of the SSR, South Africa has been involved in the training of the DRC’s national army as well as contributing troops to the United Nations Peacekeeping Force, the largest international stabilising force in the DRC, known by its acronym, MONUSCO.

There is strong trade cooperation between the two countries; South Africa is a number one import source for the DRC in the world with 17.9% of import share. The total trade between the two countries is a reflective of the regional trend that continues to characterise SA’s trade with African countries. There is considerable growth in both exports and imports.

The trade statistics are as follows:

TRADE (ZAR‘000)    2009                                         2010
Export                    4 710 541                                 6, 016 587
Import                   86 737                                      103 768
Trade Balance       4 623 804                                 5, 912 819

It is anticipated that during this Seventh Session,  the Heads of State will review progress on the implementation of bilateral projects focusing on key areas of cooperation such as energy, mining, agriculture, economic and security cooperation, and institutional capacity building.

President Zuma will be accompanied by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane; Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu; Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Ms Edna Lolewa; Minister of Mineral Resources, Ms Susan Shabangu; Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi; Minister of Public Enterprises, Mr Malusi Gigaba; Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Mr Pieter Mulder; Deputy Minister of Public Service and Administration, Ms Ayanda Dlodlo;  and Deputy Minister of Police, Ms Magdeline Sotyu.
 
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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16 June 2011

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