Economic, trade, political and social links between South Africa and Nigeria will be at the top of the agenda when the two countries meet to review and strengthen cordial relations.
A high level Bi-National Commission (BNC), to be co-chaired by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and his Nigerian counterpart Mohammed Namadi Sambo will start this morning until Wednesday in Cape Town.
The 7th session of the BNC will review the work and progress on the bilateral cooperation between South Africa and Nigeria, says the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO).
“It is expected that a Memorandum of Understanding on Economic and Technical Cooperation and the Implementation Plan on the existing bilateral agreements and matters arising from the BNC will be signed during the visit,” said the department.
Motlanthe and Sambo will also use the occasion to exchange views in respect of developments at regional level, both with regard to the Economic Community of West African States and the Southern African Development Community, as well as discuss broad issues affecting the continent within the context of the African Union.
They will also discuss enhanced cooperation on multilateral issues such as reform of global institutions of governance such as the UN Security Council and the Bretton Woods Institutions.
Sambo will be accompanied by several ministers, while Motlanthe will be supported by the Ministers of International Relations and Cooperation, Trade and Industry, Communications, Energy, Finance, Home Affairs, Justice and Constitutional Development, Transport and State Security.
Nigeria represents a significant export market for South African goods in West Africa. The trade surplus – in favour of Nigeria – can be attributed to a high demand for energy resources in South Africa, as 98% of the country’s imports from Nigeria are composed of crude oil.
Since 1999, there has been an increase in the number of South African multinationals operating in the Nigeria market, with over 100 South African companies currently doing business in Nigeria.