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Ramaphosa To Buhari: We Regret Attacks But Have To Address South Africans Poverty, Crime, Migration Concerns

"Nigeria accounts for 64 percent of South Africa’s total trade with the
West African Region and is one of our largest trading partners on the



South African President Cyril Ramaphosa tells President Muhammadu
Buhari today (Thursday) that while his country was sorry about the
xenophobic attacks that erupted a few weeks ago, South Africa is
committed to addressing the genuine concerns of our people around
poverty, unemployment, crime, drugs, and migration.

Read Full Text below.

Your Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari,
Honourable Ministers,
High Commissioners,
Members of the Media,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Let me begin by extending, once more, a very warm welcome to President
Buhari and his delegation on his historic state visit to South Africa.

This visit has offered us an opportunity to renew the strong bonds
that exist between our two nations.

President Buhari and I have just inaugurated the elevated session of
the Bi-national Commission between South Africa and Nigeria.

As we celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the BNC, this is the first
session to be held at Heads of State level.

This session has provided us a platform to re-energize and further
deepen our political, trade, investment, and people-to-people

The progress that we made today is encouraging and lays a firm basis
for future relations.

In the course of our discussions, and through various high-level
engagements, we have had an opportunity to reflect on the public
violence that took place in South Africa a few weeks ago.

As the Government of South Africa, we have expressed our deep regret
at the attacks directed at foreign nationals and our condemnation of
all forms of intolerance and acts of violence.

We are committed to addressing the genuine concerns of our people
around poverty, unemployment, crime, drugs, and migration.

We are equally committed to upholding the rule of law and ensuring
that all those involved in criminal activities, regardless of their
nationality, are prosecuted.

We welcome the willingness of the Government of Nigeria to work with
us to address these challenges.
During our talks, we reviewed a range of issues of bilateral,
continental and global nature.

We have noted with great satisfaction the growing bilateral
cooperation as demonstrated by the existence of 32 bilateral
agreements and memoranda of understanding.

These agreements cover a wide range of fields, including trade and
industry, science and technology, defence, agriculture, energy,
transport, arts and culture, and tourism. We have directed our
Ministers and officials to ensure full implementation of all signed
legal instruments for the mutual benefit of our respective countries
and peoples.

For the outstanding agreements, we have directed Ministers to finalize
negotiations in the shortest period of time. Our economic ties
continue to grow.

Nigeria accounts for 64 percent of South Africa’s total trade with the
West African Region and is one of our largest trading partners on the

We noted with appreciation the increasing presence of South African
companies in Nigeria and agreed on the need to promote greater
investment by Nigerian companies in South Africa.

As part of our efforts to increase economic cooperation, a Nigeria
South Africa Business Forum is meeting today comprising business
delegations from both countries. We will urge our business people to
take advantage of the great opportunities in our respective countries
for trade, investment and collaboration.

As governments, we have committed ourselves to creating an enabling
environment to for doing business in our respective countries. We have
identified key sectors for investment to boost economic growth and

These sectors include roads and rail infrastructure, mining,
manufacturing and agro-processing.

We also discussed regional, continental and international peace and
security challenges.

We have noted with concern the continued instability and conflict in
some parts of the continent.

We have reaffirmed our commitment to working together in pursuit of
peace, stability and development on the Continent.

We have saluted the strides being made by the AU Member States to
advance continental integration.

The agreement on the African Continental Free Trade Area is a
practical example of this progress.

Once fully implemented, it will facilitate a huge increase in
intra-African trade and investment.

On the international front, we have affirmed our common view on the
need to promote multilateralism, South-South cooperation and the broad
interests of the developing world.

We have reiterated our call for the reform of the global system of
governance, in particular the United Nations Security Council, to be
more equitable and representative of all regions of the world.

We have committed ourselves to working together to enhance close
political, economic and social relations.

Your Excellency, Let me thank you and your delegation for visiting us.

I hope that you have enjoyed our country and its hospitality.

I thank you.

South Africa