Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, on April 14, 2010 in Washington, D.C., signed a Memorandum of Understanding laying out a framework for a Strategic Dialogue between the United States and South Africa. Secretary Clinton and Minister Nkoana-Mashabane proposed the creation of this mechanism last year during the Secretary’s visit to South Africa. The Strategic Dialogue will reinforce cooperation in key areas, such as health, education, food security, law enforcement, trade, investment, energy, and nonproliferation.
Secretary Clinton and Minister Nkoana-Mashabane will lead the Strategic Dialogue, which will be informed by meetings of the Annual Bilateral Forum (ABF).
The Annual Bilateral Forum will meet annually in Pretoria to review the work of various existing and potential bilateral issue-based working groups and to identify goals for our bilateral relationship. The next forum is scheduled for May 12-13; the U.S. delegation will be led by U.S. Ambassador to South Africa Donald Gips. The following points detail existing structures and specific plans to move forward:
- In August 2009, the United States and South Africa launched a Nonproliferation and Disarmament Dialogue.
- The U.S. Department of Energy and the South African Ministry of Energy signed an agreement on Cooperation on Nuclear Energy Research and Development in September 2009. An Energy Dialogue was launched on April 12, 2010.
- The U.S. and the South African Department of Health have launched discussions to develop and sign a PEPFAR Partnership Framework sometime this year.
- The U.S. – South Africa Business Council was re-established through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed during the Corporate Council on Africa meetings in September 2009.
- Broadening our bilateral cooperation to other issues, the following are expected to be discussed at the May Annual Bilateral Forum in Pretoria: law enforcement, transportation security, health, arts and cultural cooperation, education, climate change/sustainable resources – energy and water, economic development, trade and investment, agriculture, and multilateral issues.