PUBLISHED ON November 10th, 2014

Nkurunziza Zuma in defence and trade deal

Burundian president Pierre Nkurunziza recently toured South Africa, ending his two-day visit with a bilateral agreement on co-operation in defence, health, education and minerals with Pretoria.

The two countries agreed to form a joint commission for Co-operation, which will also see co-collaboration in culture and sports.

“It is proper that we co-operate in sharing history through culture, sports and literature,” said South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma.

In 2012, President Zuma made a three-day state visit to Burundi to strengthen the relationship between the two countries. Business leaders in his entourage met their Burundian counterparts and discussed investment and employment opportunities in Burundi.

Burundi and South Africa then signed an agreement to form structured co-operation in agriculture, sports and recreation, and defence. President Zuma pledged to co-operate with Bujumbura on the poverty alleviation programmes.

In the latest agreement, emphasis has been put on trade and investment to fight poverty.

“We urge the South African business people to come and invest in Burundi, because it is now peaceful, stable and has untapped opportunities,” said President Nkurunziza.

According to the World Bank’s Doing Business report of 2014, Burundi gained 17 places to 140 position in the ease of the doing business ranking.

South Africa, the continent’s second biggest economy with a GDP of $350.6 billion, played a key role in quelling war in Burundi through negotiations and peacekeeping missions ahead of the Arusha Agreement.

Source: The East African

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