International relations and cooperation minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has concluded a visit to China, where she co-chaired the coordinators’ meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (Focac), in Beijing. The meeting assessed progress in terms of the implementation of the commitments made at the Johannesburg summit of Focac in December.
The department said the Focac meetings were aimed at reinforcing the historical solidarity of friendship through win-win cooperation that exists between the governments and people of Africa and China. This refers, in particular, to large infrastructure programmes that complement those identified within the African Union’s vision for the next 50 years, Agenda 2063.
During her visit, the minister held bilateral discussions with her Chinese counterpart, foreign affairs minister Wang Yi, and the commerce minister, Gao Hucheng. Nkoana-Mashabane also joined the other African delegations in a guided tour of the Suzhou Industrial Park, Jiangsu province, and held a meeting with the president of the Brics New Development Bank, Kundapur Vaman Kamath, in Shanghai.
The meeting focused on the work of the bank, with particular emphasis on the operations of the African regional centre of the bank, to be based in South Africa, the department said.
Yesterday, the minister travelled to Jakarta, Indonesia, where she was expected to deliver an address on behalf of President Jacob Zuma at the opening session of the 12th World Islamic Economic Forum today. The theme of the forum is “decentralising growth and empowering future business”.
Zuma had been invited to participate in the forum to promote South Africa as an investment destination and as a country with a strong and dynamic Islamic community in a secular and multicultural environment.
But, in light of the local government elections taking place in South Africa tomorrow, Nkoana-Mashabane will represent the president at the opening ceremony