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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

South Africa to prioritize Africa in its foreign policy: minister 

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- The Southern African Development Community (SADC) region and Africa as a whole will remain a strategic foreign policy priority for South Africa in 2019, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu said on Monday.

“We believe that stability in the SADC region and the continent is the cornerstone for socio-economic development in our country and in Africa,” Sisulu said in a Christmas Eve message.

She said her country will work with all in the region and continent to achieve an Africa free of conflict and to fast-track the implementation of the African Union’s Continental Free Trade Area Agreement so that business people in the SADC region and the rest of the continent can do business easily with one another.

South Africa, Sisulu said, is striving to become the business capital on the continent and a transport and technology connection hub.

“Our sophisticated financial and modern transport sector is playing an important role in developing the SADC region’s infrastructure,” the minister said.

The SADC must be connected through road, rail and air transport, as well as technology and communications, for business to grow, Sisulu said.

Beginning from next year, South Africa will take its non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council for the next two years.

Sisulu said she will engage diplomats early next year to discuss her country’s approach and the issues it should focus on during its tenure.

Among the issues are silencing the guns in Africa, addressing the scourge of extremism and terrorism; and protecting women, children and civilians in conflict situations, Sisulu said.

Reviewing the diplomatic achievements South Africa has made in 2018, Sisulu said South Africa

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EARLIER REPORT:

South Africa convenes conference to boost stagnant economic growth

JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) -- With South Africa’s economic growth predicted to grow at 0.8 percent for 2018, a colloquium to discuss proposals that would help accelerate growth levels convened in Pretoria on Friday.

Local and international economists present at the event are called by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni to look at his economic policy in an effort to revive growth.

Mboweni said that the stagnant growth could be disastrous for the economy.

“South Africa’s economy is not growing at a rate which we like, and that has a number of implications for all of us,” the minister said before the start of the event which was held behind closed doors.

“The most significant implication is poor revenue collection which leads to other things,” Mboweni said, adding that the economic growth has not kept up with population increase.

Discussions at the colloquium would place emphasis on interventions that encourage new models to support faster economic growth. Proposal emanating from the conference would be submitted to cabinet in 2019.

             

 

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