President Jacob Zuma yesterday has pledged Pretoria's support to the recently-formed government of Somalia. Speaking at a ceremony in Pretoria yesterday to welcome 11 new ambassadors to South Africa including the one representing the east African country, Zuma said that Pretoria is determined to assist in ensuring lasting peace in the Horn of Africa.
Somalia new administration which took office in September last year is the first effective central government in the country since 1991. It ends eight years of transitional rule in the country which has been marked by political and social chaos.
Other ambassadors who presented their credentials to President Zuma were those from Canada, Niger, Georgia, Cuba, Sweden and Cape Verde amongst others.
"Our minister of International Relations and Cooperation pledged R100 million towards projects that could support the post-conflict reconstruction and development of Somalia. Two of the projects have recently been approved and we are hoping to deploy a team to Mogadishu to ensure that they begin as soon as possible."
“We must utilise these opportunities to define a Programme of Action to strengthen our trade and economic relations and convene regular political consultations."
President Zuma has emphasised the need for countries enjoying bi-lateral relations with South Africa to partner with Pretoria in the realisation of the 2015 Millennium Goals.
"We must utilise these opportunities to define a Programme of Action to strengthen our trade and economic relations and convene regular political consultations as a reflection of our determination to continue building on the mutually beneficial relations and friendship between our respective countries."