Remarks by President JG Zuma at the Media Briefing on conclusion of Official Discussions with His Excellency President Rupiah Banda of Zambia, Pretoria, 2 December 2010

Your Excellency, President Rupiah Banda;
Honourable Ministers here present;
Members of the Media;

Good morning,

I want to start by extending once more a very warm welcome to my dear brother, His Excellency President Banda and his delegation.

Mr President, we are humbled and feel greatly honoured by your visit.  Your visit serves as a further reaffirmation of the historic and fraternal relations which so happily exist between South Africa and Zambia.

Our historic relations which were cemented during the difficult days of our liberation struggles against colonialism and apartheid continue to inspire us to do more to address the developmental challenges facing our respective countries.

Conscious of our collective commitment to keep these relations on a higher footing, we continue to meet at regular intervals to review our bilateral cooperation and partnership.
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is against this background that we have hosted our Zambian brothers and sisters.
Early this morning, we had wide ranging discussions in our dynamic bilateral cooperation.

The President and I have noted with satisfaction, the progress made in a number of areas under which our two countries cooperate.

To this end, we have agreed to double our efforts in ensuring that our economic cooperation continues to assume a centre stage in our bilateral partnership, cognizant of the need to maximise our natural resources to the full benefit of our peoples.

In this regard, we have directed the relevant ministers to ensure the full implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding on Trade and Industrial Cooperation.

We also noted that initiatives such as the Business Forum which will take place tomorrow in Sandton will not only contribute towards economic cooperation but will also lead to increased trade and investment between our sister countries.

We both welcome progress being made to implement the Agreement in the Field of Energy which was signed in December 2009 during our state visit to Zambia.

We are happy that our energy utilities – Eskom and Zesco, are working well together to the extent that they are negotiating an agreement which we hope will be signed soon.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We further reviewed our cooperation in the field of Health. In this regard, we have noted progress in the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding in the Field of Health which was signed in Zambia in 2009.

Equally, we have noted progress in the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding in the field of Mining and Geology as well as the Memorandum of Understanding in the field of Agriculture and Livestock Farming. These are important instruments aimed at deepening our bilateral cooperation in these sectors.

The success of our bilateral cooperation will, to a large degree, be measured by the extent and vigour with which the implementation of agreements is carried out.

Therefore, we have directed our ministers to ensure full implementation of all signed agreements and memoranda of understanding.

Importantly, ladies and gentlemen, one more instrument was added to the list of agreements signed between our two countries.

In this regard, we have just witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the field of Environmental Management and Natural Resources. This important Memorandum will enable our two countries to cooperate in the management of our environment and climate change.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Conscious of our shared history and destiny, we also during our discussions exchanged views on the latest political developments in the region, the continent and globally.

In this regard, we have agreed that, in light of us being members of the SADC Organ Troika on Politics, Defence and Security; we need to continue to consult each other on an ongoing basis.

In furthering our commitment beyond the bilateral relations, we committed ourselves to work together in contributing to a rules-based international system.

We strongly believe that building such a system requires concerted efforts from all UN member states to work towards reforming multilateral institutions including the United Nations Security Council and the Bretton Woods Institutions to better represent the interests of the developing world.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In conclusion, let me reiterate our pleasure in having our esteemed guest, President Banda and his delegation on this important visit to our country.

We are very pleased with the outcomes of our discussions as they confirm our long standing relations that continue to define our oneness.

Our relations cemented in the past do provide us with a possibility for a mutually reinforcing partnership that will continue to be beneficial to our peoples and generations to come.

I thank you.

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