Media Statement

23 August 2015

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane to undertake working visits to Mauritania and Niger

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane will undertake a working visit to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania and the Republic of Niger, respectively, from 24-25 August 2015.

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane’s visit to Nouakchott is at the invitation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Mauritania, Minister Vatma Vall Mint Soueina.

It is expected that the Minister will also pay a courtesy call to the President of Mauritania, His Excellency President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.

During the visit, the two Foreign Ministers will discuss the status of bilateral relations between South Africa and Mauritania and sign two Bilateral Agreements, namely on Regular Bilateral Consultations and on the Establishment of a Joint Commission of Cooperation. 

Furthermore, the two Ministers will utilise the opportunity to discuss a broad range of regional and international matters of mutual concern and interests.  The discussions will, amongst others, focus on matters of peace and security in the Sahel and North African regions.  South Africa regards Mauritania as an important partner in the advancement of the African Union Agenda 2063, as well as an important member of the Sahel and Maghreb regions. 

An Agreement on Economic Cooperation was signed in May 2015 in South Africa between the two respective Ministers responsible for Trade and Industry.  It is anticipated that this will deepen our bilateral trade and economic relations with a particular focus on agriculture, fisheries, mining and tourism.

During 2014, South African exports to Mauritania totalled approximately R300 million and South Africa imported approximately R7 million worth of goods from Mauritania.

On 5 September 2015, Bafana Bafana will play Mauritania in the capital city of Nouakchott as part of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches and South Africa is looking forward to host Mauritania in 2016.

Following her visit to Mauritania, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane will, on 25 August 2015, undertake a working visit to the Republic of Niger at the invitation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation, African Integration and Nigeriens Living Abroad of the Republic of Niger, Ms Aïchatou Boulama Kane. 

During the visit, the two Foreign Ministers will evaluate progress made in bilateral cooperation between the two countries and discuss various multilateral and regional issues of mutual interest.

Over the period 2009- 2013, exports to Niger have been favourable to South Africa with total exports amounting to R297 million, while imports from Niger amounted to R6.1 million. The trade balance between the two countries amounted to R303 million in favour of South Africa over this period.

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane is scheduled to pay a courtesy call on the Prime Minister of Niger, His Excellency Mr Brigi Rafini, during her visit to Niger.

It is expected that the Second Session of the Joint Commission for Cooperation will be hosted by Niger during the course of 2016.

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, 082 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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