Makwetla targets Egyptian market

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

Mpumalanga Premier Thabang Makwetla on Friday led a delegation on a trade mission to the Ismailia province in Egypt.

Authorities said the visit formed part of the province's drive to advance the Nepad objectives through increasing flows and expanding investments within the African states.

The visit was also aimed at giving practical expression to cultural, political and social solidarity among Nepad members.

Ntime Skosana, Makwetla's spokesman, said the delegation would meet the South African ambassador to Egypt, Sonto Kudjoe, and they would tour some of the world's famous heritage sites in Egypt together.

"More importantly, Makwetla will sign a new memorandum of understanding with his Ismailian counterpart, Major General Abdel Fakharary," Skosana said.

"This is the first memorandum that Mpumalanga enters into with a North African state."

He said the memorandum was underpinned by the objectives of the General Agreement of Cooperation that was entered into between the Egyptian and South African governments.

This agreement led to the setting up of the Joint Bilateral Commission between the two states.

"The Mpumalanga-Ismailia memorandum will focus on cooperation in tourism, agriculture, culture and sports, particularly preparations for the 2010 Soccer World Cup," Skosana said.

Makwetla was accompanied by, among others, MEC for local government and housing Candith Mashego-Dlamini, MEC for economic development and planning Craig Padayachee, Mpumalanga Tourism and Park Agency acting chief executive Abe Sibiya and Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency chief executive officer Nosizwe Nokwe.