South Africa President Jacob Zuma is
scheduled to hold bilateral discussions with Angola's President Jose Eduardo
Dos Santos Wednesday.
This is Zuma's first state visit to oil-rich Angola since his election as president.
officials say the visit is aimed at strengthening bilateral and economic ties with Angola.
But political analysts
say the trip is Pretoria's attempt to jumpstart apparent frosty diplomatic
relations between South Africa and Angola.
Somadoda Fikeni, a political
analyst told VOA that the new South African
administration aims to improve relations with its international partners.
would say that there is an attempt by the South African new administration to
improve relations with the countries where it seems they were chilly before.
And not only that there is a conscious attempt to mend fences whether with the
U.S where the relationship was frosty or with Angola," Fikeni said.
said both Angola and South Africa can benefit from improved relations.
has massive natural resources, which remain less exploited. And now with South
African technology, there is a possibility that they could easily manage to
exploit these resources nearby," he said.
of President Zuma's delegation include Minister
of International Relations Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana
Dlamini-Zuma, Minister of Human Settlements Tokyo Sexwale, and Minister of
Public Enterprises Barbara Hogan as well as South African businessmen.
said the makeup of President Zuma's delegation shows Pretoria's desire to
strengthen bilateral ties with Luanda.
signifies that the economy and trade business is at the very core of it and
also closer interaction between the countries and a freer movement between the
countries business and people. So, that in itself I think is the main focus,"
said former President Thabo Mbeki's administration didn't foster closer ties
are a number of reasons, which are presented as possible explanations and one
of those is the fact that when you talk of the military wing of the ANC (ruling
African National Congress), it was closer to Angola together with the South
African Communist Party, but the political wing was not as close. So, Thabo
Mbeki was part of that political wing of the ANC. Instead, he didn't have as
good a relationship as was the case with Zuma who was closer to the military,"
said Angola apparently feels unappreciated after supporting the ANC in its
liberation struggle against apartheid.
there is that element and quite pointedly the ANC during its Polokwane
conference did point out that it's going to renew relationship with its former
liberation movement partners. And that in itself, MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola) of Angola was singled out as one of those so here you do
have a conscious effort to re-establish those relationships," Fikeni said.
to South African officials, President Zuma is also expected to ask Angola to
play a greater part in Pretoria's peacekeeping efforts across Africa.