Cape Town – In developing Africa, countries from the North and the South have the unique opportunity to work together to change the lives of millions of Africans, President Jacob Zuma said today.
Briefing the media in Tuynhuys during a visit by Canada’s Governor-General David Johnston, Zuma said South Africa offered good investment prospects for countries like Canada.
He hoped that Canada would take advantage of infrastructure projects on the continent and that it could also get more involved in the mining sector.
And as South Africa prepares to launch the South African Development Agency, Zuma said the agency could benefit from support of the Canadian International Development Agency.
He said relations between the two countries had been friendly and co-operative.
The two countries had also worked closely in multi-lateral associations, including the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, which investigates serious transgressions of human rights
Both South Africa and Canada shared the view that democracy and human rights were essential, he said.
He said the countries’ ties were rooted in the anti-apartheid struggle, when Canada had argued strongly for a non-sexist, non-racist society.
Johnston said he and Zuma held discussions on a number of issues, including on the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope.
“Inspired by this major project, President Zuma and I also discussed the prospects of closer ties between Canada and South Africa in science, technology and education,” he said.
He congratulated South Africa for last year winning the bid to host the SKA.
“Here you have succeeded in bringing the best talent into this country, the collaboration of many nations, for a very ambitious project of seeing further into space than we have ever seen before, and this from South Africa,” he said.
Johnston is due to hold a networking business luncheon at the JSE.
He said the success of the Canadian-designed Gautrain demonstrated both the quality of South African infrastructure and the strength and expertise of Canadian technology.
There were several areas which South Africa and Canada could co-operate on, including mining, infrastructure, agriculture and education.
Johnston said the success of Africa was critical to the success of the world.
“This remarkable experiment of bringing diversity together and reinforcing democracy that we have seen in from last 19 years is inspiring all of us and inspires the world and we will be with you all the way as you bring the African continent together to extend those values and achievements that you have already demonstrated so well here,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za