Johannesburg – Algeria’s Foreign Minister HE Sabri Boukdoum, who is in the country on a working visit, has congratulated South Africa on the successful completion of its mandates on the UN Security Council and as Chair of the African Union.
“We are extremely proud of the job done by South Africa in New York and its tenure at the AU. It has been fantastic not only for South Africa but for Africa as a whole. The strong leadership shown by President Cyril Ramaphosa at the AU is a model for all those who continue, and we hope they will be inspired,” Boukdoum said at the end of formal bilateral meetings with Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Naledi Pandor.
Boukdoum emphasised the need for a strong South Africa for Africa, and characterised South Africa’s leadership as extraordinary. He also advocated for a stronger and peaceful Africa and the need to strengthen the institutions at the AU Commission.
“The AU Commission has to be more involved in solving Africa’s peace and security issues. We need a stronger ommission,” he said.
Pandor agreed with her counterpart saying, “We have agreed that a large part of our agenda will be strengthening peace and security in Africa, and the AU.”
One of the significant concerns of both countries is over the escalation of military tensions in Western Sahara, and the urgent need for a free and fair referendum on self-determination for the people of Western Sahara as stipulated in UN Security Council Resolution 690. Boukdoum called for the UN secretary-general to immediately appoint a personal envoy for Western Sahara.
In terms of bilateral relations, Minister Pandor highlighted the need to ensure the active implementation of the over 30 bilateral agreements and MOUs signed between the two countries.
“In addition to our strategic and political co-operation, our focus has to be on economic co-operation through trade and business exchanges, and increasing development of sectors with growth potential,” Pandor said.
Referring to her time as minister for science and technology Pandor referred to the detailed plans for collaboration between Algeria and South Africa specifically on satellite co-operation and bio technology.
“South Africa has long admired Algeria’s competence in technical skills development,” she remarked. The hope is that more young South Africans can learn from Algeria’s expertise.