State visit by President Jacob Zuma to France (March 2011) [fr]
The heads of State met at the Elysée Palace, during which bilateral and multilateral issues were discussed with substantial outcomes: France and South Africa decided to align their objectives within the framework of the G20 and G8 French presidency. Relevant ministers will cooperate on reform of the United Nations Security Council. Further collaboration in innovative financing for development and the fight against climate change was also agreed. African issues and bilateral cooperation in the field of energy were also discussed. A joint press conference was held after the meeting.
President Zuma also attended a meeting and working lunch with Mr François Fillon, French Prime Minister, during which bilateral relations were further discussed. The President was then received by the Presidents of both Houses of Parliament, as well as the Mayor of Paris.
Several bilateral meetings were held during the visit; Alain Juppé, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, met with Minister Maité Nkoana-Mashabane. Eric Besson Minister of Industry, Energy and the Digital Economy met with Mrs Dipuo Peters, Minister of Energy, and Mr Rob Davis, Minister for Trade and Industry. Christine Lagarde, Minister of Finance met with Mr Pravin Gordham. Finaly, Claude Guéant, Minister for Home affairs met Nathi Mthetha, Minister for police.
A strong emphasis was put on economic and trade issues: a first meeting of the Forum for Economic Dialogue took place between the two National Treasuries. The France-South Africa business forum was attended by a strong South African business delegation of 150 delegates and more than 200 French companies signalling a tangible step in French - South African business relations.
A joint declaration was issued by both Presidents outlining the strategic partnership between France and South Africa, including
• The strengthening of the political dialogue through the existing Forum for political dialogue, to be held on a regular basis at ministerial level, and annual high level discussions on African matters.
• The decision to host Reciprocal Seasons, which will consist of a French Season in South Africa in 2012 and a South African Season in France in 2013. These seasons, held in different regions of each country, will cover a wide range of fields, including culture, trade and investment, science and technology, and tourism and aim at ddeepening mutual understanding.
The declaration further elaborates on military and defence cooperation, trade and investment, energy, Indian Ocean cooperation and multilateral cooperation, specifically in the framework of the countries’ respective presidencies of G20 and COP17.
In the field of development cooperation:
• Signing of a new governmental Partnership Framework outlining the priorities and instruments of the French cooperation in South Africa for 2011-2013 ;
• Signing of two agreements between the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) and Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA) respectively;
In the field of Energy and Technology:
• Signing by the two ministers of energy of a road map for institutional cooperation in the energy sector to guide future cooperation in the fields of
o Nuclear energy management, safety, training, research and development with three French public institutions : CEA, ASN, ANORA*;
o Energy efficiency, reduction of CO2 emissions and demand side management with ADEME*;
• In addition, NECSA signed an agreement with AREVA expanding cooperation in nuclear fuel and other technology areas and with CEA on strategic exchanges and nuclear research and development.
• A further agreement between EDF and Eskom regarding the creation of training centres for electrical engineers was concluded.
*CEA: Atomic Energy Commission
ASN: Nuclear Safety Authority
ANORA: National Radioactive Waste Disposal Institute
ADEME: National Development Energy Institute