Opening Remarks by Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Republic of South Africa on the occasion of the 2nd Session of the South Africa Mozambique Bi-National Commission (BNC), 24 August 2017, Maputo

Your Excellency, Minister Baloi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Republic of Mozambique,

Honourable Ministers of the Republic of Mozambique and the Republic of South Africa,

Excellencies

Senior Officials from our respective Governments,

Ladies and Gentlemen

I would like to take this opportunity to firstly thank you, Honourable Minister Baloi, the government and the people of Mozambique for the warm hospitality extended to the South African delegation since our arrival in Mozambique.

South Africa and Mozambique share a long history of liberation and the shared challenges of overturning colonial legacies and practices.

In the current era we have formed new alliances towards strong political ties and striving for the economic liberation of our people. The Bi-National Commission which will be co-chaired by President Zuma and President Nyusi demonstrates the wish to collaborate even closer to counter the numerous difficulties faced by our countries. Sharing of experiences will enable us to adopt strategies that respond adequately to our triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment.

The Bi-National Commission between our two countries remains pivotal in the advancement of both our domestic and regional agendas.

Our annual interactions and consultations within the framework of the BNC boost the implementation of agreements that have been signed by the two countries. We want to expand our cooperation for the good of our people. We should continue to engage more effectively in the fields of politics and governance, defence and security, economy, finance and infrastructure, as well as social and humanitarian affairs so as to elevate our bilateral relations. We hope that our efforts will be rewarded in building a better future for our people and our children.  We must ensure that the good intentions and objectives we set are implemented and that concrete results are obtained.

Your Excellency, today our cooperation is much stronger due to a number of bilateral agreements and Memoranda of Understanding. These legal frameworks have paved the way for the initiation of various projects of a very strategic nature that could change the developmental path of our two countries and indeed the region.

Ladies and Gentleman

We meet here today to assess progress we have made in the implementation of bilateral projects since our last BNC which was held in Pretoria in October 2015.

I believe that over the past two days, our Senior Officials have given attention to all areas and interrogated reasons where there were deviations to the envisaged outcomes. I also trust that they have made recommendations and crafted roadmaps with timelines to lead us to where we need to be in the coming year.  I am looking forward to the comprehensive report that will be presented to us today.

My Dear Brother and Co-Chair

I wish to thank you once again for all the arrangements made for this meeting in spite of a busy schedule in Maputo in particular, the concurrent hosting of the Ministers and their delegations attending the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD).

It is clear that the Bi-National Commission enjoys a central and significant importance in our bilateral relations and the report of today, I have no doubt, will be reflective of that.

I thank you

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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