Closing Address by Deputy President
Zuma to the 4th Session of the Nigerian/South African
Your Excellency, my dear brother, the Vice President
of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,
Deputy Ministers and Ministers of State present,
Premiers and Governors present,
The High Commissioner of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
to South Africa and other members of the diplomatic
Members of the media,
Ladies and gentlemen,
After two weeks of intensive and fruitful discussions
of the various working groups this 4th Session of the
South African-Nigerian Binational Commission is being
Let me at the outset thank all the delegates for their
hard work, which ensured the success of this fourth
My Dear Brother, Mr Vice President, we have taken note
of your wish for agreements concluded to be implemented
and diligently monitored. We share these sentiments
completely, and look forward to the establishment of
the Special Implementation Committee on BNC Matters,
as agreed to in this session.
From our side, Your Excellency, it indicates that we
need to monitor the implementation process much more
closely, to ensure that our respective governance systems
and rules do not impede the required progress, as envisioned
in our final communiqué.
As happened previously, we have again exceeded our
own expectations with the progress made in this Session,
indicated by the following agreements and memoranda
of understanding that were concluded:
(i) Extradition Agreement,
(ii) Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal
(iii) Agreement on Immigration Matters,
(iv) Agreement on co-operation in the field of health
and medical sciences,
(v) A Programme of Work on Scientific and Technological
(vi) Memorandum of Understanding on Co-operation in
the field of Sport & Recreation;
(vii) Omnibus Memorandum of Understanding on Information
and Communication Technologies,
(viii) An agreement on expedited mail services and
a memorandum of understanding on postal mail security.
I am sure you are as happy as I am, My Dear Brother,
with the progress made in the different working groups.
We noted in the opening session the need for intensifying
linkages in all spheres, one of the key areas being
the economic sphere.
In the Trade, Industry and Finance Working Group, a
programme of action has been prepared to further boost
the key areas of co-operation between our two countries.
The areas of co-operation include:
Co-operation on specific industrial sector projects.
A joint study on investment opportunities in the two
countries. In this regard, information will be exchanged
on investment opportunities by next month, and also
to prepare and submit specific profiles on identified
projects by May 2002.
The sharing of information on the programme of restructuring
of state owned enterprises in both countries has also
been agreed upon.
A significant development as well, My Dear Brother,
is the establishment of the Binational Investment Forum
to facilitate joint ventures between the private sectors
of our two countries, promote competitiveness and the
achievement of rapid economic growth.
We hope that the private sector will expeditiously
take up the many business opportunities that exist,
and those that will be opened up in future by such a
forum. The discussions at the South Africa-Nigeria Business
Summit were a good indication of the enthusiasm of the
I must hasten to add, Your Excellency, that we will
carefully study the response of your delegation to our
initial submission on the Nigeria-South Africa Free
Trade Area. We are both in agreement on the need to
expedite this process.
Distinguished guests, the health of our peoples remains
uppermost in our agendas, and the agreement on areas
of co-operation within the health arena is crucial.
This BNC has correctly decided to prioritise co-operation
on HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health as well as the
manufacture, control, import and exports of drugs and
medicines. With regard to the related issue of water
and sanitation, the respective Ministers agreed to implement
projects in other areas such as irrigation, water supply
and sanitation among others, within the context of NEPAD.
Similarly on the agricultural front, the previous agreement
was expanded in areas of animal and plant health, agricultural
processing, research and capacity building.
Mr Vice President, this BNC endeavours to embody the
vision and mission of the New Partnership for Africa's
Development (NEPAD), as we strive to meet our objectives
of continuing to improve the lives of our peoples.
In this regard, we have noted the deliberations of
the NEPAD Heads of State Implementation Committee in
Abuja this week, who once again emphasized the centrality
of the commitment to sustainable growth and development.
The meeting in Abuja also underscored the need for
greater co-ordination of sub-regional mechanisms for
conflict prevention, management and resolution within
the African Union mechanism and the United Nations Security
Our two countries, Your Excellency, have continuously
stressed the imperative of ensuring that peace and stability
becomes a reality in the continent, as envisaged also
by the intensive discussion of this question in this
Also important to note in this Session, My Dear Brother,
is the strong support by the Abuja meeting, of the African
Peer Review Mechanism as well as the Draft Report on
Good Governance and Democracy, again matters that are
at the top of the agendas of our two countries.
The Heads of State Summit emphasized a need for an
effective peer review mechanism, which would be designed,
owned and managed by Africans. This mechanism, the Heads
of State emphasized, must be credible, transparent and
all encompassing, to demonstrate that African leaders
are fully aware of their responsibilities and obligations
to their peoples.
In light of this, we must, for the record, My Dear
Brother, remind this gathering of the new direction
taken by the leaders of this continent.
Such commitments on matters such as the peer review
mechanism, coming from our Heads of State directly,
shows that this continent is serious about the road
ahead for Africa.
Ladies and gentlemen, we touched on the issue of terrorism
on the first day of this session.
You will note that this BNC has agreed that it is necessary
for the focal points on terrorism in our respective
capitals and our respective missions in New York, to
meet and work out joint approaches and strategies on
the fight against terrorism, in accordance with the
relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions
We also agreed that it is appropriate for our two countries
to discuss all the implications of terrorism, taking
into account the definition, risks and impact on individual
economies, and regional security.
You will recall that this week's meeting of the Heads
of State in Abuja, ladies and gentlemen, follows the
United Nations "Financing for Development Conference"
in Mexico last week which emerged with the "Monterrey
We welcome the commitments made by our development
partners at the conference in Mexico, to provide increased
funding for Africa's development. We further note the
hope expressed by the Heads of State in Abuja, that
these commitments, would be speedily actualized.
This includes the requests of the developing nations
at the WTO meeting in Doha to equalize trade, and further
attend to debt relief. We say this, mindful of the fact
that a substantial increase in official development
assistance and other resources will be required, if
developing nations are to achieve the development objectives
agreed to in the United Nations Millennium Declaration
in September 2000.
The United Nations has calculated that one hundred
billion US dollars is required to meet commitments on
poverty eradication in the decades ahead.
Currently, the commitments stand at fifty billion US
dollars, and the resolve seems to exist, to make up
Our Working Group on Foreign Affairs and Co-Operation
also discussed the problem of external debt, which is
plaguing developing countries. An agreement was reached
that forums such as the Africa-European Union Ministerial
Conference, China-Africa Forum, multilateral financial
institutions and other bilateral forums be used to advocate
effective debt relief for Africa.
This BNC has also recommended that our respective Ministries
of Finance work towards preparing common positions in
preparation for the Africa-EU Ministerial conference
on External Debt in Burkina Faso, in November this year.
Having said all this, we must also note, My Dear Brother,
that at this week's Abuja meeting, the need to further
expand relations with international development partners
We must add our voices in appreciating the new commitment
to African development programmes by the developed world,
and ensure that engagement with the developed North
meets our objectives of extricating the continent from
For this reason, we are looking forward to fruitful
discussions at the next G8 Summit in Canada in June
this year. Africa will go there with confidence, given
the support NEPAD has received from the developed world
thus far, as recent engagements and discussions indicate.
My dear brother, this BNC has also agreed that our
two countries need to work together to ensure that the
World Summit on Sustainable Development meets the expectations
of the developing world. In this regard, we need to
put forward a detailed blueprint for sustainable development
for the continent on the table in August.
Your Excellency, there is still a busy year ahead for
our two countries, as we need to work together on various
programmes during the year, on conflict prevention and
resolution, the establishment and operationalisation
of the African Union, the World Summit on Sustainable
Development and various other bilateral and multilateral
Through agreements reached in this session, My Dear
Brother, it is clear that the gains made are going to
be felt by ordinary people in our two countries.
My Dear Brother, allow me to state once again, what
a pleasure it was for us to be able to host you and
your delegation for this fourth session.
It is always sad to come to the end of our engagements,
but work needs to be done. We look forward to getting
together again soon.
Have a safe trip back home.
I Thank You