South Africa-Burundi-Diplomacy

S/Africa, Burundi explore ways to deepen cooperation

APA-Pretoria (South Africa)

South African International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor is on a working visit to Burundi where she will co-chair the inaugural Burundi-South Africa Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) session in the Great Lakes country, her office announced on Friday.

Pandor’s co-chair at the meeting is Albert Shingiro, Burundian Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation Minister, and the two ministers kick-started their discussions in the Burundian capital of Bujumbura on Friday. 

In a statement, the ministry said “the JCC will provide a platform for South African institutions to explore further cooperation with Burundi in new and existing areas.”

High on the agenda is cooperation in several economic sectors that include agriculture, food processing, pharmaceuticals, infrastructure development, oil and gas, energy, mining, waste management, packaging, and tourism, the ministry said.  

South Africa’s relations with Burundi are described “as sound and cordial” and have improved since the establishment of official diplomatic ties on 23 June 1995. 

South Africa played a key role in the African Union-led Burundi Peace Process that resulted in the signing of the Arusha Peace Accords in 2000, the ministry noted. 

However, bilateral trade with Burundi remains low, it added.  

Records showed that major exports from South Africa to Burundi in 2021 amounted to US$4.7 million, according to the ministry.

And exports from Burundi to South Africa in that same year amounted to only US$430,000, it added.

NM/jn/APA

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