PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu is expected to arrive in South Africa on Wednesday 7th December 2016 for a three-day State Visit.
The visit is being undertaken at the invitation of his South African counter-part, President Jacob Zuma.
The President’s visit will be preceded by the signing of a Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) between Zambia and South Africa.
This is the first time that the two countries will establish a permanent structured platform through which to periodically table issues of common interest and concerns.
Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa, His Excellency Mr. Emmanuel Mwamba confirmed the President’s State Visit and holding of the JCC session.
Mr. Mwamba said the senior officials’ session of the JCC will be held in Pretoria on 5th and 6th December after which the ministerial session will be held on 7th December.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Honourable Harry Kalaba and South Africa’s Minister for International Relations, Honourable Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, will sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) of the JCC on behalf of their countries.
Permanent Secretary for Commerce, Trade and Industry, Ms. Kayula Siame will lead the senior officials’ delegation from Zambia to the two day session that will consider areas of cooperation under political and diplomatic, economic, social and, security and defence segments.
Mr. Mwamba said the signing of the JCC was a great milestone as this would now help Zambia and South Africa implement cooperation agreements that had remained ineffective for a long time.
Also expected to be signed are other cooperation agreements in agriculture, tourism, infrastructure, trade and energy.
He pointed out the issue of trade imbalance between Zambia and South Africa as one of those that could be tabled and quickly addressed through the JCC.
Mr. Mwamba said President Lungu will soon after arriving in South Africa meet Zambians resident in South Africa.
On Thursday, 8th December, President Lungu will hold meetings with President Zuma in Pretoria during which important decisions are expected to be made by the two leaders.
Later in the day, the President will visit Freedom Park in Pretoria where President Lungu will lay a wreath.
Freedom Park is the memorial site of those killed in the South African Wars, World War I, World War II as well as during the apartheid era.
Mr. Mwamba said the visit to the memorial park by President Lungu was important as it will underscore the close relations that Zambia and South Africa have had dating back to the era of the liberation struggle.
Zambia played a key role in the liberation of the region.
Zambia hosted liberation movements and was the country of residence for South Africa’s then future leaders such as President Thabo Mbeki, President Zuma, former Deputy-President Baleka Mbete and African National Congress’ longest serving president Oliver Tambo, among others.
On the same day, President Lungu and President Zuma will address a gathering of Zambian and South African captains of Industry, business entities and executives organised under the auspices of the Zambia-South Africa Business Forum (ZSABF).
Mr. Mwamba said President Lungu will, on 9th December, visit an energy project as part of his quest to find solutions to the energy deficit that Zambia and other countries in the region were facing.
The President will be accompanied by Minister of Energy Honourable David Mabumba, Minister of Tourism and Arts Honourable Charles Banda and other senior government officials.
HIGH COMMISSION OF ZAMBIA IN SOUTH AFRICA