7th SOUTH AFRICA – UNITED STATES
ANNUAL BILATERAL FORUM
28 SEPTEMBER 2016
The Department of International Cooperation and Relations hosted the United States Mission in Pretoria for the 7th Annual Bilateral Forum (ABF), on 28 September 2016. The Forum was co-chaired by the Chief Director: North America and Regional Organisations, Ambassador Peter Goosen and the United States Deputy Chief of Mission, Ms Jessica Lapenn.
The ABF takes place under the auspices of the South Africa – United States Strategic Dialogue, which was established in 2010 by the former United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and the South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. The Forum meets annually to review cooperation between the two nations across a range of sectors, covering areas such as education, agriculture, health, protocol and administration, economic development, trade and investment, energy, water, environment, transportation, science and technology, defence, and safety and security.
During the event, officials from the various Working Groups aligned to line-function Departments engaged in a broad dialogue with their counterparts from the United States Embassy and the various United States agencies represented in South Africa to review existing cooperation, track progress and ensure better alignment of development cooperation with South Africa’s domestic priorities.
The Departments of Telecommunications and Postal Services and Small Business Development participated for the first time in 2016 to begin a discussion on future cooperation in these two areas.
Both Amb. Goosen and Ms Lapenn underscored the importance of the ABF as an important instrument to measure the tangible progress being made in the growth and strengthening of bilateral sectoral cooperation. In particular, they noted the successes achieved in the areas of safety and security, wild-life trafficking, science and technology, education, health and water.