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Media conference remarks by President Jacob Zuma during the State Visit by President Macky Sall of Senegal, Cape Town

Your Excellency, President Macky Sall,
Honourable Ministers,
Our respective Ambassadors,
Senior Officials,
Members of the media,
Good day and welcome.

We have just concluded our bilateral discussions, which were characterised by solidarity, friendship and common understanding.

Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The main objective of this State Visit was to review our bilateral relations and cooperation between our sister Republics, reflect on the progress made and discuss new areas of cooperation.
During our discussions we focused on a wide range of bilateral, continental and global issues of common interest.

We are generally happy with the state of our bilateral relations.

We have noted the dynamism that characterises our relations as evidenced by our regular consultations on issues of mutual interest, particularly issues affecting the wellbeing of our beloved Continent.

The dynamism we are talking about relates, but is not limited  to the progress made in strengthening the relations between our two countries, especially in the field of Arts and Culture.

This year we further cemented our cultural and historic ties with the commemoration of the 1987 Dakar Talks and the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on the twinning of Robben and Gorée Islands.

This is very important as we link the two islands. Robben Island was a place used by the racist apartheid regime to incarcerate freedom fighters while Goree Islands was the route through which African people were shipped out for a life of slavery.

Considering the strong historical bonds between our two countries and our collective desire to forge closer cooperation and partnership, we have decided to elevate our Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation to the level of ministers.

We believe that this will give the required push to enhancing our cooperation.

Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen,

We further committed ourselves to ensuring that all the signed fourteen sectoral agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoU) are fully implemented.

We have just witnessed yet another signing of a legal instrument, in this case the Memorandum of Understanding in the field of Tourism.

We welcome this MoU, which will foster cooperation and the sharing of expertise in exchange of tourism information; tourism promotion and partnership investments in the sector.

We believe that both countries stand to benefit a lot from the agreement and hope that not only will it be beneficial to the people working in the tourism sector, but also for the average citizen wishing to explore each other’s beautiful countries.

We hope many more South Africans will be able to share the sentiments expressed by our first democratic President Nelson Mandela in his book Long Walk to Freedom, where he said that:

“The Senegalese are a handsome people and I enjoyed the brief time that Oliver and I spent in their country. The society showed how disparate elements – French, Islamic, and African – can mingle to create a unique and distinctive culture”.
Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Later this afternoon, we will have an opportunity to address the South Africa-Senegal Business Forum.

We will encourage our respective business sectors to increase economic cooperation between our two countries. 

We could not end our discussions without reviewing the political and security situation on the Continent.
In this regard, we have committed ourselves to working together in pursuit of peace, stability, and economic development in the Continent.

We therefore condemn in the strongest possible terms the extremist and terrorist activities wherever they occur.
While committing to the continental integration processes and implementation of AU’s Agenda 2063, we hold a strong view on the necessity to maintain the autonomy of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee, which is ably chaired by my Brother President Macky Sall.

We reaffirmed the strategic relations that exist between our sister Republics and committed ourselves to working together to enhance close political, economic and social cooperation in keeping with a mutual desire to establish a special relationship between the two countries. 

Your Excellency, let me thank you and your delegation for visiting us and hope that you enjoy our hospitality.

As we mark the centenary of Oliver Reginald Tambo this week, we recommit ourselves to further deepening ties with Senegal, and dedicate this State Visit to his memory and legacy.

I thank you, Merci beaucoup!