Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari and his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa have endorsed the establishment of an early warning mechanism as part of efforts being put in place by both countries to forestall further xenophobic attacks in the rainbow nation.
The two presidents have also directed the two foreign ministers to give practical expression to the Early Warning Mechanism to be used as a preventive and monitoring platform.
This was contained in a joint communiqué issued Thursday after the state visit of Buhari to South Africa, where he attended the inaugural elevated Bi-national commission.
Buhari had at the invitation of Ramaphosa paid a state visit to South Africa from October 2-4, 2019, to attend the inaugural session of the elevated Bi-National Commission (BNC), as part of continuing bilateral engagements aimed at strengthening and deepening cooperation between South Africa and Nigeria.
The two presidents have also endorsed the establishment of a Joint Ministerial Advisory Council on Industry, Trade and Investment, which is expected to serve as a critical vehicle in facilitating and promoting private sector participation in the economies of both countries.
The inaugural meeting of the council would be held not later than April 2020 in Abuja.
The communiqué revealed that the two Heads of State reviewed a wide range of bilateral, continental and global issues of common interest, while also expressing satisfaction on the continued exchange of high level visits and meetings between the two countries.
The two presidents took note of the 32 signed agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) and committed themselves to ensuring that those which are in force are fully implemented while those which are not yet in force are to be revived for implementation.
It stressed that both presidents noted with great satisfaction the economic cooperation between the two countries and welcomed the steps to increase trade volumes as well as private sector investments.
Ramaphosa assured Buhari that the South African government was fully in control of the situation and several interventions including engagements with the diplomatic community and émigré communities, security operations, policy and legislation reviews were underway.
They added: “The two presidents endorsed the establishment of an early warning mechanism and directed the two foreign ministers to give practical expression to the Early Warning Mechanism to be used as a preventative and monitoring platform.”
The two presidents also endorsed the re-establishment of South Africa and Nigeria consular Forum to meet twice a year.
Both leaders however reaffirmed their commitment to working together in pursuit of sustainable peace and economic development on the continent in the context of AU Agenda 2063 and the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA).