South Africa and Algeria have a responsibility not only to their own people but to the continent to ensure the success of their economic development, South African President Thabo Mbeki said here Thursday October 18. Mbeki was addressing a meeting of business leaders from the two countries being held on the sidelines of a visit by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and a South African-Algerian binational commission taking place this week.
The economic and geographical size of both countries meant South Africa and Algeria were key to indicators of the renewal of the continent, he said. "South Africa and Algeria face very many similar challenges of poverty, unemployment and the need to develop our economies and societies.”
"Many other African countries look to see what is happening in South Africa in the south and Algeria in the north as an indication of whether the continent will succeed or not," Mbeki declared. "If we fail at either end, we communicate a message to the rest of the continent that the continent cannot succeed. If we succeed, as we must, I think that adds enormous energy to the rest of the continent."
Encouraging business leaders to advise both governments how best to encourage economic growth and co-operation, Mbeki said the task of government was to assist them and ensure their relationship "develops and flowers".
South Africa's Public Enterprises Minister Jeff Radebe announced a host of exploratory talks between South African state-owned enterprises and Algerian companies regarding possible joint ventures. They are currently in discussions about power plants, waste water management, oil exploration and transport projects. — (AFP, Pretoria)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )