President Zuma departs for France and Mauritania
28 Feb 2011President Jacob Zuma will tomorrow, 1st of March 2011, depart for Paris, France for a State Visit at the invitation of the President of the French Republic, His Excellency Nicolas Sarkozy, which takes place from the 2nd to the 3rd of March
At the end of the visit on the 3rd of March, the President will travel to Nouakchott in Mauritania, on a working visit in his capacity as a member of the African Union High‐Level Panel for the Resolution of the Crisis in Côte d'Ivoire.
The High‐Level Panel was established by the Peace and Security Council of the African Union at the Assembly of Heads of State and Government held in Addis Ababa on 28 January 2011. It will hold a follow up meeting on the 4th of March in Nouakchott to discuss the outcome of last week’s visit to Côte d'Ivoire.
For the State Visit to France, President Zuma will be accompanied by International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Rob Davies, the Minister of Finance, Mr Pravin Gordhan, the Minister of Police, Mr Nathi Mthethwa, and the Minister of Energy, Ms Dipuo Peters.
South Africa and France have warm bilateral relations spanning across social, economic and political spheres. France chairs the G8 and G20 this year which provides more avenues for cooperation at a multilateral level. Both countries chair the G20 Development Working Group.
South Africa will seek to deepen cooperation with France on the five national priorities, education, health, rural development, the fight against crime and creating decent work. Also important is a massive infrastructure roll out.
The creation of decent jobs is foremost in these priorities and President Zuma will be accompanied by a business delegation some of whom specialise in the six growth areas mentioned in the New Growth Path. These are infrastructure development, agriculture, mining and beneficiation, manufacturing, the green economy and tourism.
Minister Davies and Finance Minister Gordhan will engage the business community of France to promote investments that will take forward South Africa’s quest for creating decent work.
Minister Peters expects the visit to deal with issues of energy. “This would include alternative energy, in the light of South Africa’s strategy to double its energy capacity by 2030 and for the “de-carbonization” of its energy sector which is today 70% dependant on coal. The visit will touch on investments in the green economy sectors.”
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane is planning for a key focus on Africa.
“The talks will no doubt touch on the African Agenda, involving both the long standing issues of political and economic challenges faced by the continent and the recent spate of unrest in the continent, particularly in Côte d’Ivoire and North Africa. Important multilateral issues include climate change and South Africa’s hosting of COP17/CMP7, reform of the Security Council and the Bretton Woods institutions”.
Police Minister, Nathi Mthethwa, he expects to further strengthen cooperation on safety and security, building on the collaboration with the French police during the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup.
During the visit President Zuma will also hold talks with the Prime Minister, Francois Fillon, President of the Senate, Gerard Larcher, Mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoë as well as Bernard Accoyer, President of the National Assembly to discuss various economic and cultural relations.
President Zuma will also participate in a remembrance ceremony for Ms Dulcie September, the ANC Representative in France, who was brutally murdered in Paris on 29 March 1988 by persons as yet unknown.
The President will return to South Africa on the 5th of March.
Issued by: The Presidency
28 Feb 2011
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