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Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma arrived in the Republic of Senegal's capital Dakar for a two-day state visit, his office said on Tuesday.
The visit, which is the first by a South African head of state, was intended to cement economic ties between the two countries, presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said in a statement.
The two countries had a close relationship, he said.
“Former president Abdou Diouf of Senegal hosted the historic dialogue between the then-exiled ANC and the apartheid intelligentsia in Dakar, Senegal in 1987,” Maharaj said.
“The South Africa-Senegalese business forum will meet during the state visit to discuss further co-operation.”
South African exports to Senegal include vegetable and mineral products, plastics and rubber, machinery and mechanical appliances, prepared foodstuff, beverages, and footwear.
South Africa imports fish (frozen and chilled), wood, textiles, cultural artefacts, works of art, and jewellery.
Further co-operation is to be explored in the fields of tourism, infrastructure, food security, retail, and communication and energy investment projects.
Senegal's president Macky Sall is the chairman of Nepad heads of state and government orientation committee. Zuma is the chairman of the presidential infrastructure championing initiative within the African Union.
During the visit memoranda of understanding were expected to be signed on co-operation in agriculture, and arts and culture.
Zuma is accompanied by ministers for International Relations and Co-operation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, State Security Siyabonga Cwele, Minister in the Presidency: Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Collins Chabane, Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tina Joemat-Pettersson, Public Enterprises Malusi Gigaba, Arts and Culture Paul Mashatile, and Economic Development Deputy Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize.