SA to participate in Africa-South America Summit

Friday, September 25, 2009

Pretoria - South Africa is to participate in the 2nd Africa-South America Summit which aims to further enhance cooperation between the two regions.

The summit will be held at the weekend on the island of Margarita, Venezuela.

According to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation spokesperson, Nomfanelo Kota, South Africa will participate in the summit within the context of consolidating the African agenda through deepening South-South cooperation.

"The summit will also strengthen the continental ties that were forged at the First Abuja Summit as well as reaffirm international solidarity between the people of Africa and Latin America."

The first summit between the two regions was held in the city of Abuja, Nigeria, in 2006.

During the summit, leaders will among others things, adopt strategies and measures that will translate the vision of the Africa-South America Cooperative Forum into concrete economic, political and social benefits.

According to Kota, the meeting also aims to intensify cooperation and consultation at all levels to exploit the immense opportunities which bound the two continents.

"The 2nd summit further aims to explore and exploit opportunities for cooperation and collaboration in the areas of Agriculture, Trade, and Investment, Energy, Technology, Water Resources and Tourism."

The leaders will also develop appropriate common positions in multilateral negotiations such as the reform of the Global Multilateral System of Governance and the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals.

International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, has already departed from New York for Margarita to lead a South African delegation to the ministerial segment of the summit.

The minister was in New York accompanying President Jacob Zuma, who led a South African delegation to the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

In Venezuela, the minister will be supported by her deputy Sue van der Merwe as well as South African representatives to Venezuela and the African Union Ambassadors.

President Zuma, who is currently in Pittsburgh, Pennysylvania leading a South African contingent to the G20 Summit, will also proceed to Venezuela at the weekend.

About 30 Heads of State of the two regions as well as delegates from 60 countries have confirmed their attendance