Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma will later this week visit Nigeria and Benin with the aim of deepening South Africa’s bilateral political, economic and trade relations with these two countries.
On Saturday, he will be in Nigeria, where he will hold talks with his counterpart, President Goodluck Jonathan, in respect to developments within the South Africa-Nigeria Bi-National Commission (BNC), and with regard to regional and continental issues of mutual interest.
Zuma will attend the First Memorial Lecture at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja as a special guest of honour and also receive an Honorary Doctoral Degree in Philosophy at the American University of Nigeria in Yola.
Relations with Nigeria are strong, with Nigeria being South Africa’s largest trading partner within the West Africa region. Trade relations between the two economies registered substantial growth between the period 2008 and 2010.
After Nigeria, the President will move to Benin where he will meet his counterpart President Boni Yayi, who was in the country recently.
According to the International Relations Department, a bilateral air services agreement will be signed during the visit.
The two Presidents will also use the occasion to exchange views in respect of developments at regional level, both with regard to ECOWAS and SADC, as well as discuss broad issues affecting the continent within the context of the AU.
Zuma is also expected to be honoured with an Honorary Doctorate by Benin’s University of Abomey-Calavi.
Source: BuaNews – 7 Dec 2011