dialogue, partner
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South African President, Jacob Zuma and French President Francois Hollande. Pic credit: Reuters
South African President, Jacob Zuma and French President Francois Hollande. Pic credit: Reuters

On Monday, South Africa President Jacob Zuma, said that there is ample space for additional bilateral trade and investment and cooperation expansion between South Africa and France. He directed this statement towards the country’s energy infrastructure and developing a sustainable energy mix, Engineering News reported.

The President highlighted that a growth in industrialisation, localisation, job creation and skills development, which is connected to French companies, is a key priority.

According to media, Zuma is currently on his second State visit to France, where he will engage in discussions with French President, François Hollande.

Zuma commented: “French companies have acquired lucrative contracts in South Africa in the infrastructure and energy programmes, amounting to billions of rand.”

Over the past year, reports have indicated that the French government has investment heavily in Africa’s energy sector, especially within the clean power sectors.

France invests in sustainable energy mix

According to Engineering News, France’s Agence Française de Développement and South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation have collaborated to fund a new green credit line with Nedbank to promote the development of renewable energy in South Africa.

Zuma said: “France and South Africa place great importance on cooperation in the energy field within their strategic partnership and, as signatories to the Economic Partnership Agreement, France and South Africa must take advantage of the vast opportunities that exist within the bilateral trade and investment landscape.”

In order to boost the necessary platforms to successfully facilitate these developments the President announced the launch of a new initiative.

“[…] I am championing the Presidential Infrastructure Championing Initiative and herein lie opportunities for France to partner with us in specific aspects of the North-South corridor,” Zuma said.

The President added: “France has been supporting South African reconstruction and development programmes since 1994, including the implementation of the South African National Development Plan – Vision 2030. Both countries welcome the signature of a new Partnership Framework Document for the 2016 to 2019 period, focusing on crucial development sectors.”

Media reported that additional agreements were signed during the State visit, one of which included training and skills development and the need to drive student mobility between the two countries.

 

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