At the invitation of His Excellency Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency Edgar Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia, paid a State Visit to South Africa from 8 to 9 December 2016.
Both Heads of State were accompanied by delegations of Ministers and Senior Government Officials. The Meeting was preceded by the inauguration of the Joint Commission for Cooperation which took place in Pretoria on 7 December 2016.
During the official talks, both Heads of State reviewed a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues.
They expressed satisfaction at the strong bilateral relations existing between the two countries, founded on long standing historical, political, economic and cultural ties.
The two leaders noted with appreciation the vast nature of the bilateral cooperation which includes amongst others, trade and investment, energy, agriculture, mining, defence, health, education, correctional services and transport.
The two leaders further noted that twenty one Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) have over the past years been signed between the two countries. They further emphasised the need to have them fully implemented and to consider the renewal of those that had lapsed as well as to expedite the finalisation of pending agreements for signature.
They further reiterated the importance of ongoing economic cooperation between the two countries in terms of trade and investment, and expressed their satisfaction that the business sector of the two countries had met at the Business Forum to explore ways to further participate in the economies of the two countries. The Heads of State addressed the Business Forum and urged the private sector to increase economic cooperation between the two countries.
The two Heads of State exchanged views on the political and security situation in the region and the continent. Furthermore, they reaffirmed their commitment to working together in pursuit of sustainable peace and stability in the region. With regards to regional integration, they called for the implementation of the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap.
The two leaders, expressed their commitment to African unity and the implementation of the AU Agenda 2063 and its Action Plan.
The two leaders took note of the negative impact the current drought is causing within the region and pledged to work closely with the region and development partners to explore possible mitigation strategies.
His Excellency, President Zuma congratulated His Excellency President Lungu for the successful, credible, free and fair general election held on 11 August 2016 and for him being re-elected as the President of the Republic of Zambia.
The two Heads of State reaffirmed their support for the SADC candidate for the post of the AU Commission Chairperson, Honourable Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, the current Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation of Botswana.
The two leaders also acknowledged the appointment of the new Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr Antonio Guterres.
The two Heads of State, further reiterated their common view on the need for the reform of multilateral institutions particularly the Bretton Woods Institutions and the Security Council to include the interests of the developing countries.
His Excellency, President Lungu also congratulated South Africa for peaceful and successful local elections held on 3 August 2016.
His Excellency, President Lungu further congratulated His Excellency President Zuma for his election as the incoming Chair of SADC and reassured his country’s support during South Africa’s tenure to lead the regional organisation.
His Excellency, President Lungu expressed his gratitude for the warm reception and hospitality accorded to him and his delegation and further extended an invitation to his Excellency President Zuma to visit Zambia during 2017 at the date to be mutually determined through diplomatic channels.
Source: Republic of South Africa: Department of International Relations and Cooperation.