Cyril Ramaphosa, South African President, will host his Nigerian counterpart, Muhammadu Buhari, in a state visit on Thursday.
News24 quotes Khusela Diko, Ramaphosa’s spokesperson as saying “One of the main features of the visit will be a joint business forum, with a focus on trade and investment”.
“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.”
Diko said formal relations between the two countries had been conducted through a Bi-National Commission (BNC), which was established in 1999.
She explained that the structured bilateral mechanism provided for political, economic, social, cultural, scientific and technical cooperation.
“The state 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,”she also said.
Diko noted that South Africa and Nigeria shared sound political, economic and social relations that were formally established in 1994, after the country’s first democratic elections.
Ramaphosa had hosted former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, last week during a courtesy call.
Obasanjo’s visit followed a wave of violence against Nigerians and some other African nationals living in South Africa.
The spokesperson during the courtesy call, had said Obasanjo expressed gratitude that Ramaphosa had appointed a team of special envoys, who have travelled to a number of African states, “to deliver a message from Ramaphosa, regarding the incidents of violence”.
The South African President and Obasanjo, were also said to have discussed the misconception that Nigerians in particular had been targeted in the recent wave of attacks.