Friday, 22 April 2022

Pretoria: President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on African countries to put the continent on a new trajectory of progress, prosperity and self-reliance.

The President said that Africa’s focus must be on strengthening health systems across the region and the continent, and on improving its capabilities in areas such as vaccine and medical supplies manufacturing.

The President said this as he delivered opening remarks during the plenary session of the fifth Bi-National Commission (BNC) between South Africa and Botswana in Pretoria on Friday.

The two Presidents held talks aimed at strengthening and deepening the existing historical and bilateral relations between the two countries.

President Ramaphosa hosted his Botswana counterpart President Mokgweetsi Masisi and they both presided over the session of the BNC.

The two Presidents used their opening remarks to reiterate the historical, geographical and cultural affinities that the two countries share.

“This BNC is an opportunity to further deepen our cooperation in many areas including infrastructure development, energy production, mining, defence, health, transport, migration, and information and communication technologies,” Ramaphosa said.

The President emphasised that it is critical to consolidate the work that has already been done within the existing areas of cooperation and explore further areas of collaboration and cooperation.

He said that the ties between the peoples of South Africa and Botswana are long-standing, and our solidarity was forged in the trenches of struggle.

The President lauded Botswana for playing a pivotal role in ending colonialism and apartheid in South Africa.

President Masisi used his opening remarks to call on the security and intelligence agencies of both countries to work together in fighting a surge in crime.

Masisi said that this is in particular with incidents of crime in relation to cash in transit heists, armed robberies and transnational organised crimes including human trafficking, poaching, cyber-crime and contraband committed by nationals of our countries.

“It is therefore imperative for our security and intelligence agencies to work more closely together, in the efforts towards addressing these societal ills.

“However it is encouraging to note that the BNC has covered an array of defence and security matters, which will further augment efforts towards addressing many of these cross-border crimes.” he said.