South Africa and Angola To Collaborate on Infrastructure Development

Pretoria - South Africa and Angola, through the Regional Spatial Development Initiative Programme (RSDIP) and the Industrial Development Institute of Angola (IDIA), have signed an agreement on technical cooperation that will further stimulate infrastructure development in Angola.

"The intention of the agreement is to support the infrastructure development that is currently taking place in Angola and make sure that small and big industries are supported through such programmes," said Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Elizabeth Thabethe.

Speaking during the signing ceremony on Friday, Thabethe thanked all the role players who drafted the agreement and ensured the interests of both countries, and the region as a whole, were taken into consideration.

Thabethe said the South African government was committed to taking the implementation of the programme to the next level, as infrastructure development was high on government's priority list.

Angola's Deputy Minister of Geology, Mines and Industry, Dr Kiala Gabriel, said the agreement would assist with the infrastructure backlog that his country was currently facing.

"We acknowledge the work done by the South African government and businesses in our country. We are now saying our market is ready for investment and cooperation with other countries," said Gabriel.

The agreement emanates from the 2009 Memorandum of Understanding on Trade and Industrial Cooperation signed by Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies and his counterpart in Angola.

Ahead of the signing ceremony, Thabethe opened the South African National Pavilion at the Feira Internacional de Angola, where 29 companies that have been financially assisted by the department to participate in the exhibition showcased their products and services, with the aim of increasing exports of South African manufactured products to Angola and other international markets.

The companies included small, medium and micro enterprises, emerging exporters, women-owned enterprises and large companies.

RSDIP is the Department of Trade and Industry's spatial development initiative based at the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA). It is tasked with identifying infrastructure and industrial development opportunities in the Southern African Development Communities (SADC) region.

IDIA is under the Ministry of Geology, Mines and Industry in Angola, and the main duties of the Institute are to instigate industrial development that will enable the creation of national economic integration and equilibrium between diverse regions of the country.