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Zuma-Jonathan meet for stronger economic ties
May 6, 2013, 11:10 am


South African President Jacob Zuma and his Nigerian counterpart Goodluck Jonathan [GCIS]

Nigeria would be seeking closer economic co-operation with South Africa during a maiden official visit by head of state Goodluck Jonathan to Cape Town on Monday.

The president is accompanied by key members of Nigeria’s economic management team that includes cabinet ministers, governors of state, business and senior government officials.

Jonathan and Zuma will discuss”ways of improving trade and economic relations between Nigeria and South Africa,” according to a statement from the Nigerian President’s office.

South Africa and Nigeria are two of the most powerful economies in the continent.

South Africa’s trade with Nigeria has risen from R709 million in 2000 to R6.1 billion in 2012.

The South Africa-Nigeria binational commission was inaugurated in 1999.

“Our bilateral partnership with Nigeria spans across a wide spectrum covering political, economic and social cooperation,” the South African presidency said in a statement on Friday.

Bilateral and regional issues would be high on the agenda of discussions between Jonathan and South African president Jacob Zuma.

Several agreements and memorandums of understanding will be signed following the discussions between the two presidents and their delegations on Tuesday.

Jonathan’s high-powered delegation will include the finance, foreign, trade, oil, agriculture, mines and steel ministers, as well as Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, according to Forbes, and some top businessmen.

The two presidents will also participate in the South Africa-Nigeria Business Forum, while Jonathan will address a joint sitting of Parliament in Cape Town.

The Nigerian president will be meeting South African chief representatives of firms like MTN, Toyota and Nissan during his visit.

The Nigerian leader and his delegation will also attend the Grow Africa Investment Forum to be jointly hosted in Cape Town by the African Union, the New Partnership for African Development and the World Economic Forum.

With inputs from Agencies