Closing remarks by Minister Nkoana-Mashabane at the inaugural session of the South Africa-Congo Joint Commission for Cooperation, Cape Town, 28 October 2010

Your Excellency, My Dear Brother,
Distinguished Officials,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have now come to the end of this historic inaugural meeting of the Joint Co-operation Commission between our two countries. This represents an important and long overdue milestone in the development of ever closer relations between our two peoples.

We have witnessed the signing of an Agricultural Cooperation Agreement that will contribute to the development of the Agricultural Sector in the Congo and improve food security. The Agreement will pave the way for South African Farmers to engage in commercial ventures in the Congo and help with the development of a vibrant Agro-processing Industry in Congo. During this session a Health Cooperation Agreement in the form of Twining Agreement between Steve Biko Academic Hospital of South Africa and the University Hospital of the Republic of Congo was also signed. These Agreements add to the already wide legal framework within which cooperation between our two countries take place.

They constitute a mutually agreed upon legal basis for our cooperation, which is congruent with the evolution and trajectory of our relations. With this in mid, I have instructed that our officials, in agreement with their Congolese counterparts, now concentrate on the practical implementation of already existing Agreements so as to realise concrete achievements on the ground for the benefit of our peoples.

Your Excellency, My Dear Brother,

I wish to thank you for your friendship and for the candid, open and constructive manner in which you and your delegation approached our deliberations. Our challenge now is to translate all the undertakings we have made into concrete programmes for the mutual benefit of our two peoples.

I thank you once more for undertaking this journey to South Africa, and am already looking forward to seeing you all again at our next JCC in Brazzaville in 2012.

I wish you all a safe journey home, and a few days of well deserved rest, before we all again resume work on cementing closer relations between our countries.

Merci Boucoupe!!!

Bon Voyage !!!

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