REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO NEWS

Working Visit to South Africa By President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, President Felix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo

KINSSHASA, Dec 19, 2020:: The President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency Mr Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, will host the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mr Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, on a Working Visit to South Africa on 19 December 2020. His Excellency President Tshisekedi will be accompanied by senior members of his government while His Excellency President Ramaphosa will be accompanied by the Ministers of International Relations and Cooperation; Defence and Military Veterans; Mineral Resources and Energy and State Security.

In keeping with South Africa's commitment to enhance bilateral relations with the DRC and peace and security in the region, a General Cooperation Agreement was concluded between the two countries on 14 January 2004. The General Cooperation Agreement is the principal agreement establishing bilateral cooperation between the two states, providing the basis for political, economic and technical cooperation. The Agreement also provides for the establishment of a strategic mechanism, a Bi-National Commission (BNC), at the level of Heads of State. The BNC has a strong focus on Post Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD).

The 12th Session of the South Africa - Democratic Republic of Congo Bi-National Commission (BNC) is scheduled to convene early in 2021. A large part of South African business with the DRC is trade, the export of goods and services using local agencies, franchising and other non-investment business. South Africa's exports to the DRC in 2019 were valued at R15,2 billion.

South Africa also has significant investments in the DRC, and the main sectors for investment are financial services; mining and related services; construction and property development; retail; supplier services to the oil, gas and mobile telephony industries; ICT; security and guarding; logistics; and tourism and hospitality. Agriculture and agro-process is a growing area of investment although much of this is related to skills transfer.

President Ramaphosa and President Tshisekedi will use the occasion to exchange views in respect of developments at a regional level, as well as discuss broad issues affecting the continent within the context of the African Union. South Africa will be handing the Chair of the Africa Union over to the DRC in 2021. The visit will be an opportunity to reflect on ways to advance the African Union's visionary and developmental Agenda 2063 and to enhance the two countries' strategic cooperation.