Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma will next week lead a delegation to the 7th session of the Bi-National Commission (BNC) between South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Zuma will be accompanied by a number of ministers and deputy ministers for the summit in Lubumbashi on 21 June.
During the session, the heads of state are expected to review progress on the implementation of bilateral projects, focusing on key areas of cooperation such as energy, mining, agriculture, economic and security cooperation, and institutional capacity building, said the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO).
The RSA-DRC BNC was established in January 2004 following the signing of the General Co-operation Agreement by the two countries – with the first BNC launched in August of that year.
Since then, six BNC meetings have been convened. To date, 26 bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding have been signed between the two countries.
According to DIRCO, South Africa’s involvement in the DRC is largely aimed at assisting the country in its Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development.
“South Africa’s support over the years has focused on three key areas: Institutional Capacity Building; the Security Sector Reform (SSR) and Economic Development,” it added.
With regards to Institutional Capacity Building, various government departments have been running training programmes. This includes the training of the DRC’s diplomats; conducting a national public servants census, population register and immigration matters, DIRCO said.
South Africa has also been supporting the SSR through its involvement in the training of DRC’s national army, as well as contributing to the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in the DRC.
DIRCO noted that the two countries also enjoy strong trade cooperation. – BuaNews