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President Zuma broadens ties with neighbours, friends of SA

Written by Thomas Thale
President Jacob Zuma has travelled to several African countries recently to encourage peace and strengthen relations between South Africa and its neighbours.

The visits are part of ongoing efforts to cultivate peace and stimulate economic prosperity on the African continent.

President Zuma has championed the African agenda at all international forums, including the United Nations and during gatherings of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) bloc of countries.

High on his agenda was the restoration of peace and democracy to the Central African Republic, where 13 South Africans soldiers were killed during a coup.

The President attended the Extraordinary Summit of the Economic Community of Central African States in Chad, which discussed ways of restoring democratic rule to the country.

Relations with Nigeria also look set to improve following the President’s visit to that country.

President Zuma met his Nigerian counterpart President Goodluck Jonathan to discuss bilateral, regional, continental and international relations.

The two leaders also signed a number of agreements that are expected to benefit both countries.

On a visit to Algeria, the President discussed ways of strengthening cooperation in areas of trade, security and energy infrastructure with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

Meanwhile, the industrialisation of Southern Africa was a key item on the agenda when President Zuma attended the Southern African Customs Union Summit in Gaborone, Botswana.

The President was also in attendance when Uhuru Kenyatta was inaugurated as the new President of Kenya.

South Africa has used various forums to pro- mote peace and security in Africa as it makes the continent central to its foreign policy. This means that President Zuma will continue to visit many African countries to strengthen relations, promote peace and prosperity on the continent.