President Cyril Ramaphosa will host Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, for a state visit on 3 October.
This will be the first incoming state visit to be hosted by South Africa under the sixth administration, the Ramaphosa government said.
South Africa and Nigeria share sound political, economic and social relations that were formally established in 1994, immediately after South Africa’s first democratic elections.
Formal relations have been conducted through a Bi-National Commission (BNC), established in 1999 as a structured bilateral mechanism to provide for political, economic, social, cultural, scientific and technical cooperation.
According to a statement made available to SaharaReporters today (Tuesday), the visit will also mark the 20th anniversary of the BNC which was elevated in 2016 to be presided over at Heads of State level.
The BNC has over the years recorded remarkable achievements and provides a useful platform for enhancing bilateral relations, notably on the economic front.
“There are more than 30 agreements which have been negotiated and signed since the establishment of the BNC, and which are at different stages of implementation. These include the Bilateral Trade Agreement, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Economic and Technical Cooperation and an Agreement on Cooperation in Defence.
“There is a significant footprint of South African companies currently doing business in Nigeria in various sectors, mainly in telecommunications, banking, retail, hospitality, mining, tourism, agriculture and construction, and tourism,” the statement said.
It stated further, “The total value of trade between South Africa and Nigeria amounted to R50.8 billion in 2018. The major South African products exported to Nigeria include machinery and mechanical appliances; mineral products, and chemical products.
“Major products imported from Nigeria include mineral products, products of the chemicals or allied industries, base metals and articles, plastics and articles (rubber), vegetable products, machinery, and mechanical appliances, etc.
“The state visit will not only provide an opportunity for the two presidents to strengthen and deepen political, economic, social and cultural relations between the two countries but will also create space for deliberations on issues of mutual interest and concern pertaining to the continent and global governance.”