Presidents Muhammadu Buhari and Cyril Ramaphosa Picture: Siyabulela Duda/GCIS
Presidents Muhammadu Buhari and Cyril Ramaphosa Picture: Siyabulela Duda/GCIS

South Africa, Nigeria mend relations and agree trade deals

By Reuters Time of article published Oct 3, 2019

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Johannesburg - South Africa and Nigeria

signed 30 trade and cooperation agreements on Thursday, weeks

after a wave of violence against Nigerian nationals in

Johannesburg and Pretoria had strained relations between

Africa's top two economies.

In September, mobs armed with makeshift weapons attacked

businesses and homes owned by foreigners, leading to at least 10

deaths, dozens of injuries and up to 400 arrests.

In response Nigeria repatriated around 600 of its citizens

living in South Africa.

Presidents Cyril Ramaphosa and Muhammadu Buhari, at the

conclusion of a two-day visit by the Nigerian leader, said they

regretted the violence and subsequent retaliation in Nigeria

against South African businesses, pledging instead to deepen

trade ties.

The local units of South African telecoms company MTN

and supermarket chain Shoprite closed all

stores and service centres in Nigeria after their premises were

attacked by Nigerians protesting against attacks on their

compatriots in South Africa.

"As the government of South Africa, we have expressed our

deep regret at the attacks directed at foreign nationals and our

condemnation of all forms of intolerance and acts of violence,"

Ramaphosa told journalists.

Ramaphosa said the two countries had sealed 32 bilateral

agreements and memoranda of understanding covering trade and

industry, science and technology, defence, agriculture and

energy.

Nigeria accounts for 64 percent of South Africa’s total

trade with the West African Region and is one of its largest

trading partners on the continent.

Buhari said beyond the economic partnership the

anti-foreigner violence had to be addressed quickly.

"We decided to take concrete measures to prevent the

recurrence of such unacceptable incidents in the future," Buhari

said. 

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