An integral part of South Africa’s foreign policy sees it “striving” for continental peace as an integral component of the renewal and development of Africa International Relations and Co-operation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said this week.
Speaking during her budget vote in Cape Town, the former defence and military veterans minister, said South Africa was “working with countries in our region and across the rest of Africa to being about lasting peace and stability”.
Sisulu said the continent was “largely peaceful and stable” with the exception of Lesotho, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Madagascar, Burundi, South Sudan, Somalia, Central African Republic (CAR), Mali and Libya.
Apart from these nine countries, which she called “areas of concern”, South Africa remains engaged in peace and security dynamics in the Horn of Africa, the Sahel, the Great Lakes region and the Lake Chad basin.
“South Africa will continue to play her part in conflict resolution in these countries and respective regions,” Sisulu said.
As far as South Africa’s continental political relations are concerned the international relations and co-operation minister said the diplomatic footprint now stood at 47 embassies, high commissions and consulates general across Africa.
“South Africa has rapidly advanced economic relations with the continent through the expansion of its trade volumes and investment portfolio. South Africa has grown her bilateral trade portfolio with countries in African from R11,4 billion in 1994 to R429 billion. Africa is becoming a prime destination for South African originated goods and services, especially value-added goods,” she said.