France - South Africa - From our correspondent

Zuma in Paris to collect billion euros in aid

Reuters/Jacques Demarthon/Pool

South African President Jacob Zuma begins a two-day state visit to France on Wednesday. Zuma will go home with billion euros in aid from Paris over the next five years. He and French President Nicolas Sarkozy will discuss the troubled start to the year in Africa.


Foreign minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane revealed the size France’s new aid package to South Africa last week.

She did not say how it would be used, but members of the European parliament are being asked about the possibility of it buying a nuclear power facility in South Africa.

Zuma was supposed to arrive with a proposal for a settlement to Côte d’Ivoire’s presidential crisis, but the panel of five African leaders – of which he is a member – has delayed producing one.

He’s bound to be asked to confirm South Africa’s recognition of Alassane Ouattara’s election victory. South Africa has not formally recognised either Ouattara or his rival Laurent Gbagbo as the winner of the election. Nkoana-Mashabane has called the result inconclusive.

He will also get the message that now that they share places on the united nations security council, France looks to South Africa for strong moral leadership on African issues such as Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi’s deadly crackdown on unarmed Libyan demonstrators.

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