South Africa and Angola have signed a technical cooperation agreement to support infrastructure development in the oil-producing country, as part of a drive to stimulate increased trade and economic cooperation among countries in the southern African region.
“The intention of the agreement is to support the infrastructure development that is currently taking place in Angola and make sure that small and big industries are supported through such programmes,” South African Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Elizabeth Thabethe said on Friday.
The agreement was negotiated between South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI’s) regional spatial development initiative programme, based at the Development Bank of Southern Africa, and the Industrial Development Institute of Angola.
Speaking during the signing ceremony in Luanda on Friday, Thabethe thanked all the role players who had drafted the agreement and ensured the interests of both countries, and the region as a whole, were taken into consideration.
Angola’s Deputy Minister of Geology, Mines and Industry, Kiala Gabriel, said the agreement would assist with the infrastructure backlog that his country was currently facing.
“We acknowledge the work done by the South African government and businesses in our country,” Gabriel said. “We are now saying our market is ready for investment and cooperation with other countries.”
The agreement emanates from a memorandum of understanding on trade and industrial cooperation signed by Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies and his Angolan counterpart in 2009.
Ahead of Friday’s signing ceremony, Thabethe opened the South African National Pavilion at the Feira Internacional de Angola, where 29 SA companies, with the assistance of the DTI showcased their products and services.
The companies included small, medium and micro enterprises, emerging exporters, women-owned enterprises and large companies.