Ethio-South Africa Joint Commission emphasizes more dynamic, fruitful cooperation

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Addis Ababa, 26 March 2014 (WIC) - The 4th Ethio-South Africa Senior Officials' Joint Commission Meeting aimed at reviewing and evaluating all areas of mutual cooperation to further strengthen the existing cordial relations in all sectors was opened yesterday at Ellily Hotel here yesterday.
Opening at the two-day meeting, Foreign Affairs Ministry African Affairs Director General Ambassador Solomon Abebe said: “Our two countries have witnessed development in all areas of cooperation and relations in light of the aspiration of our peoples for secure, stable prosperous present and future. Our bilateral political relations have been strengthened by mutual consultation and numerous high-level exchange visits have been further enhanced with the signing of numerous memorandums of understanding as well as protocols and agreements”.
Ethiopia and South Africa have signed various agreements in most sectors of mutual cooperation and already established broad -based bilateral cooperation. But much remains to be done, Ambassador Solomon said.
He further indicated that the two counties have great potential for economic cooperation and in forgoing strong economic ties in terms of trade and investment. “However, we have not yet fully utilized the existing potential. The level of economic cooperation is not yet commensurate with close political cooperation. Greater emphasis should be given to persuade our business sectors to work closely and strengthen their relation to make the cooperation more dynamic and fruitful,” he added.
South African International Relations and Cooperation Department East Africa Chief Director Tselane Mokuena on her part said: “Our gathering today presents us with a means to ensure that Ethiopia and South Africa stand together as partners as we traverse the route to development and prosperity in Africa.”
The meeting and discussions today need to take place within the context of the vision for Africa set by Africa's leaders at the Africa Union ( AU) through agenda 2063. There is a need to ensure that the partnership remains geared towards not only the prosperity of sisterly countries but also of their respective regions and the rest of the continent, she added.
The meeting signals the realization that unity of purpose will lead to success. “As we begin to engage, it becomes imperative for us to closely, critically and thoroughly interrogate the status of our bilateral relations at various levels,” Mokuena said
The meeting will pave the way for the forthcoming ministerial meeting. (EH)