|South Africa's President Norway visit to focus on aid, climate talks|
| [29.08.2011, 09:31am, Mon. GMT]|
|SA HOPES to tap into the $4,6bn aid that Norway has allocated this year for developing countries, as SA prepares to establish its own aid agency , according to the South African Development Aid Agency. At the invitation of King Harald and Queen Sonja, President Jacob Zuma will pay his first state visit to Norway on Wednesday to strengthen bilateral relations . Talks during the two-day state visit will include seeking Norway’s advice on the aid agency.The talks would also focus on SA’s preparations for the United Nations conference on climate change in Durban in November , the Department of International Relations and Co-operation said on Saturday.|
Norway has helped SA with African peace and reconstruction initiatives. In 2009 Norway granted SA R500m for policing in South Sudan, which attained independence last month .
Foreign policy analysts last month commended SA’s efforts to establish an aid agency but warned it may discourage SA’s traditional partners from channelling aid to the country.
SA is one the biggest African recipients of development aid from the European Union.
"A related risk is that with greater responsibility as well as our development country status and the benefits we accrue from (our own aid agency) … donor countries may rescind aid," Lyndsey Duff, a researcher at the Institute for Global Dialogue, said last week.
Clayson Monyela, a spokesman for the Department of International Relations, said: "Through the visit SA hopes to attract investment, increase its share of exports to Norway, position SA as a tourist destination and identify new areas of co-operation with the Norwegian government in the areas of green jobs, green economy and climate change."
Last year two-way trade grew 326%, the department says. SA’s exports to Norway rose from R352m in 2006 to R2,3bn last year , up 561%. Imports from Norway increased from R683m in 2006 to R853m last year.