A busy day for Zuma in Angola

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pretoria - Various activities have been planned in Angola's capital, Luanda, as President Jacob Zuma began his official visit to that country on Thursday.

President Zuma is in Angola as part of a bid to strengthen bilateral political and economic relations with that country.

The President will also share his thoughts on the political situation in the region and discussions are also expected to be held on the upcoming Southern African Development Community Summit in Kinshasa, as well as the Madagascar and Zimbabwe situation.

Accompanied by a high-level delegation, including some members of his Cabinet, the President was due to kick-start his visit by departing for the Independence Square, where he will lay a wreath at the Monument of Dr. Antonio Agostinho Neto, former President of the Republic of Angola.

The ceremony will also be attended by the Governor of the province of Luanda, Franscisca Do Espirito Santo Carvalho.

"This will signify the importance South Africa attaches to the contribution made by Angolans in the struggle for liberation," said the Department of International Relations.

By laying the wreath, President Zuma will also be paying tribute in honour of the sacrifice made by Angolans in freeing South Africa.

Another trip will see President Zuma and his wife Sizakele Zuma laying a second wreath at the Monument of the Unknown Soldiers at the Santa Ana Cemetery.

This will also be a salute to the countless heroes and heroines who lost their lives defending the South African people as well as to honour all those who lost their lives in the Southern African Development Community region.

An official ceremony is expected to take place later in the day, when President Zuma is received at the Presidential Palace.

Meanwhile, Business Unity South Africa (Busa) said South Africa should use the visit to forge a new economic partnership with Angola.

"It is now up to us, as the private sector, to build on the momentum created by our political leaders and harness the opportunities that are opening up," Busa President Brian Molefe said.

He said over the next two days, Busa intends to work with Angola, specifically with companies in Angola, to identify strategic level issues to create a more conducive climate for doing business.

"There is a need for a bilateral economic cooperation agreement, including a mutual commitment to good and transparent governance in business," said Mr Molefe.