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KWAZULU-NATAL MEC for finance Ina Cronjé has called on African countries to strengthen trade ties between themselves.
Cronjé was speaking in uMhlanga, north of Durban, on Tuesday at a gala dinner hosted by Premier Zweli Mkhize to welcome Cameroon.
Cameroon is one of the five countries based in KwaZulu-Natal for the duration of the World Cup.
Cronjé, who represented Mkhize at the dinner, said: "This tournament opens opportunities for us to strengthen ties and investments. Let us explore what makes us Africans unique from the rest of the world and build on it.
"Let us strengthen trade among one another as African nations. For far too long, Africa has been a sleeping giant and lets make the world realise that this giant is wakening," Cronjé said.
She said the hosting of World Cup in Africa was a proud moment, that should be used to benefit the people of the continent.
"The tournament has done so much to unite and put us together."
Cameroon sports minister Zoah Michel and head of delegation said the generosity of the people of KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa was something they would cherish and take back home.