Media Briefing Remarks by President Cyril Ramaphosa during the Nigeria State Visit, Tshwane, South Africa
Your Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari,
Members of the Media,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Let me begin by extending, once more, a very warm welcome to President Buhari and his delegation on his historic state visit to South Africa.
This visit has offered us an opportunity to renew the strong bonds that exist between our two nations.
President Buhari and I have just inaugurated the elevated session of the Bi-national Commission between South Africa and Nigeria.
As we celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the BNC, this is the first session to be held at Heads of State level.
This session has provided us a platform to re-energise and further deepen our political, trade, investment and people-to-people relations.
The progress that we made today is encouraging and lays a firm basis for future relations.
In the course of our discussions, and through various high-level engagements, we have had an opportunity to reflect on the public violence that took place in South Africa a few weeks ago.
As the Government of South Africa, we have expressed our deep regret at the attacks directed at foreign nationals and our condemnation of all forms of intolerance and acts of violence.
We are committed to addressing the genuine concerns of our people around poverty, unemployment, crime, drugs and migration.
We are equally committed to upholding the rule of law and ensuring that all those involved in criminal activities, regardless of their nationality, are prosecuted.
We welcome the willingness of the Government of Nigeria to work with us to address these challenges.
During our talks, we reviewed a range of issues of bilateral, continental and global nature.
We have noted with great satisfaction the growing bilateral cooperation as demonstrated by the existence of 32 bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding.
These agreements cover a wide range of fields, including trade and industry, science and technology, defence, agriculture, energy, transport, arts and culture, and tourism. We have directed our Ministers and officials to ensure full implementation of all signed legal instruments for the mutual benefit of our respective countries and peoples.
For the outstanding agreements, we have directed Ministers to finalise negotiations in the shortest period of time. Our economic ties continue to grow.
Nigeria accounts for 64 percent of South Africa's total trade with the West African Region and is one of our largest trading partners on the continent.
We noted with appreciation the increasing presence of South African companies in Nigeria, and agreed on the need to promote greater investment by Nigerian companies in South Africa.
As part of our efforts to increase economic cooperation, a Nigeria South Africa Business Forum is meeting today comprising business delegations from both countries. We will urge our business people to take advantage of the great opportunities in our respective countries for trade, investment and collaboration.
As governments, we have committed ourselves to creating an enabling environment to for doing business in our respective countries. We have identified key sectors for investment to boost economic growth and development.
These sectors include roads and rail infrastructure, mining, manufacturing and agro-processing.
We also discussed regional, continental and international peace and security challenges.
We have noted with concern the continued instability and conflict in some parts of the continent.
We have reaffirmed our commitment to working together in pursuit of peace, stability and development on the Continent.
We have saluted the strides being made by the AU Member States to advance continental integration.
The agreement on the African Continental Free Trade Area is a practical example of this progress.
Once fully implemented, it will facilitate a huge increase in intra-African trade and investment.
On the international front, we have affirmed our common view on the need to promote multilateralism, South-South cooperation and the broad interests of the developing world.
We have reiterated our call for the reform of the global system of governance, in particular the United Nations Security Council, to be more equitable and representative of all regions of the world.
We have committed ourselves to working together to enhance close political, economic and social relations.
Your Excellency, Let me thank you and your delegation for visiting us.
I hope that you have enjoyed our country and its hospitality.
I thank you.
Issued by: Department of International Relations and Cooperation