On a three-day visit to South Africa, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari called on South Africa to take steps to ensure that xenophobic violence never happens again.
His South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa reiterated his country’s profound regret for the violence last month, some of which targeted Nigerian nationals and their companies. At least 12 people, including two foreigners, were killed in the latest round of xenophobic violence.
This visit is an opportunity for both heads of state to try to ease tensions between their two countries. This is the first visit made by a Nigerian leader since 2013, and also a first for the South African administration after this year’s general elections. It was planned well before the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
President Buhari is expected to meet the Nigerian community in South Africa to discuss the violence that has affected many foreigners in areas where Nigerian immigrants are living.
Two economic powers
According to a spokesman for President Cyril Ramaphosa, the state visit will also mark the 20th anniversary of the Bilateral Commission, which deals with all relations between Nigeria and South Africa. Trade between the two largest African economies was estimated at $ 4½ billion in 2018.
The purpose of this trip is to strengthen trade links as the two African powers struggle to revive their struggling economies.