Media Statement

31 October 2014

President Zuma to receive President of Burundi on a State Visit to South Africa

President Jacob Zuma will, on 4-5 November 2014, host President Pierre Nkurunziza of the Republic of Burundi who will undertake a two-day State Visit to South Africa, scheduled to take place in Cape Town.

This will be President Nkurunziza’s first state visit to South Africa since his assumption of office in 2005.

The visit will further enhance existing cordial relations between South Africa and Burundi. South Africa actively supported Burundi’s quest for peace and democracy a few years ago. President Zuma took over from President Nelson Mandela in 2000 as the mediator in the Burundi peace talks. Then Deputy President Zuma led the protracted but successful mediation process which led to a resolution of the Burundi conflict and the ushering of a new government in 2005. The highlights of the mediation process led by President Zuma included a key achievement for the African continent, the deployment of South African peacekeeping troops in Burundi for seven years, 2003 to 2009. This became the first ever African Union peacekeeping force.

To turn this historic bond into stronger socio-economic ties, President Zuma and President Nkurunziza are expected to discuss further cooperation in priority areas such as trade, health, arts and culture, mining, agriculture, higher education and defence.

It is expected that two bilateral agreements will be signed during the visit.

A South Africa-Burundi Business Forum aimed at increasing trade and investment between the two countries will meet in Cape Town on 4 November 2014.

The two Presidents are also expected to use the occasion of the State Visit to exchange views in respect of developments at regional level, both with regard to the East African Community and the Southern African Development Community, as well as discuss broad issues affecting the continent within the context of the African Union.

They are also expected to discuss enhanced cooperation in dealing with multilateral issues such as reform of global institutions of governance such as the UN Security Council and the Bretton Woods Institutions.

President Zuma will be supported by the Ministers of International Relations and Cooperation; Trade and Industry; Arts and Culture; Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; Defence and Military Veterans; as well as Higher Education and Training.

For further information please contact Mr. Clayson Monyela spokesperson for DIRCO on 082 884 5974 or Mr Mac Maharaj in the Presidency on 079 879 3203.

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