The South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, hosted the United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the second meeting of the South Africa-United States of America Strategic Dialogue on 7 August 2012 at DIRCO’s OR Tambo Building in Pretoria. Building on our shared democratic values, the Strategic Dialogue seeks to strengthen and expand economic and scientific engagements, improve coordination on public health and education, and discuss global security challenges. Minister Nkoana-Mashabane and Secretary Clinton noted the expanding cooperation between the two countries on a broad range of issues since the first Strategic Dialogue meeting in December 2010, including the achievements of the respective working groups established under the auspices of the Strategic Dialogue’s Annual Bilateral Forum.
Minister Nkoana-Mashabane and Secretary Clinton consulted on a number of global issues, including developments in Africa and the Middle East. The election of Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as Chairperson of the African Union Commission was welcomed by both parties and it was agreed to continue to deepen cooperation on strategic issues through regular consultation, including through regular bilateral meetings of senior officials.
Minister Nkoana-Mashabane and Secretary Clinton noted the United States’ $3.2 billion contribution to South Africa’s HIV/AIDS programme which has helped South Africa reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV, lower the costs of antiretroviral therapies, and scale up prevention, including through a $40 million grant to the voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (MMC) Programme. The Strategic Dialogue discussed how the transfer of ownership of PEPFAR’s care and treatment programmes to South Africa will occur. This will be the first such transfer anywhere in the world. The U.S. and South Africa committed to working together until the back of the HIV/AIDS pandemic is broken.
The importance of safeguarding food security as a requisite to continued economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa was also discussed. They welcomed U.S.-South African cooperation to improve food security through the Feed the Future Strategic Partnership.
Secretary Clinton and Minister Nkoana-Mashabane agreed to continue dialogue in the area of nuclear safety, including the safeguarding of nuclear materials, nonproliferation activities globally and disarmament. Both noted the importance of the South Africa-U.S. Nonproliferation and Disarmament Dialogue which began in 2009 to enhance cooperation on a wide spectrum of nuclear issues. Minister Nkoana-Mashabane and Secretary Clinton expressed satisfaction with the growing cooperation on energy achieved through the second meeting of the U.S.-South Africa Energy Dialogue in January 2012.
Minister Nkoana-Mashabane and Secretary Clinton celebrated that two-way goods and services trade between the United States and South Africa reached R181.6 billion (US $21.8 billion) last year, a 21% increase over the previous year, making the United States South Africa’s third largest trading partner. The United States is the largest portfolio investor and the third largest source of foreign direct investment in South Africa. It was noted that South African companies have made significant investments in the United Statesand that South Africa remains a key export destination, constituting 15.5% of total U.S. trade with Africa. In this regard, the critical role of AGOA in promoting trade and investment in Africa was noted.
Minister Nkoana-Mashabane and Secretary Clinton highlighted a number of recent initiatives, including:
• the signing of a US$2 billion declaration of intent between the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. and South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation to provide credit guarantees to stimulate development of South Africa’s renewable energy sector;
• the establishment of a Global Disease Detection Center in South Africa, co-directed by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases;
• a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) credit guarantee facility which will make up to R1.2 billion (US$150 million) in funding available to more than 300 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and help create over 20,000 jobs in South Africa;
• the launch of the School Capacity Innovation Program (SCIP), a new R60 million (US$7.5 million) public private partnership between USAID, the ELMA Foundation and Morgan Stanley. SCIP was designed in collaboration with the Department of Basic Education to improve teacher quality;
• the launch of the US$500,000 Opportunity grants program, which will help disadvantaged South African students cover testing and application expenses, and international travel for study in the United States;
• a R5.2 million (US$650,000) USAID program for judicial management and leadership programmes to support South African combating sexual and gender-based violence and build upon best practices that can be shared with other countries in the region;
• A collaboration between USAID, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the Competition Commission of South Africa, to provide capacity building assistance to competition agencies in the Southern Africa region;
• USAID grants to assist with water resource management in the Limpopo and Orange-Senqu trans-boundary river basins and a US $525,000 grant from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency to study water conservation in the Olifants River catchment area; and
• Representatives of both governments met on August 6 to identify mutual areas of interest and strengthen opportunities for cooperation on cyber issues. The U.S.-South AfricaStrategic Dialogue endorses the establishment of a Cyber Working Group to take these issues forward.
Secretary Clinton was accompanied by a high-level delegation which included Undersecretary of State Robert Hormats, Undersecretary of Commerce Francisco Sánchez, Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Johnnie Carson, White House Senior Director for Africa Affairs Grant Harris, Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby, Export-Import Bank of the United States Chairman Fred Hochberg, Overseas Private Investment Corporation President Elizabeth Littlefield, US Trade and Development Agency Director Leocadia I. Zak and other Senior Officials. Senior officials from 11 U.S. companies also accompanied Secretary Clinton to explore trade and investment opportunities in South Africa.