On air
  • RFI English Live
  • Latest Bulletin
  • RFI French Live

Trade South Africa France Euro 2016 Diplomacy Jacob Zuma

Issued on • Modified

Football, trade on agenda as South Africa's Zuma visits France

Jacob Zuma in March this year Reuters/Mike Hutchings

South African president Jacob Zuma was to arrive in Paris Sunday for a three-day visit expected to focus on economic ties between France and South Africa. Bu football was also on the agenda.

Zuma was due to attend the Euro 2016 final along with French President François Hollande on Sunday evening and South African footballer Kermit Erasmus, currently playing for Stade Rennais FC, will be a guest of honour at the Elysée presidential palace, according to SA paper the Citizen.

The visit was expected to concentrate on trade and economic deals with about 40 business leaders and eight ministers accompanying the South African leader.

But this week's African Union summit in Kigali, where a new chairperson will be chosen, mediation between government and opposition in Burundi and forthcoming presidential elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo were likely to come up.

France courts Anglophone Africa

The two presidents have already met nine times but this is Zuma's first official visit to France.

Leaders of former French colonies are more frequently invited to the Elysée but over the last few years France has stepped up efforts to build links with English-speaking African countries.

Zuma was also to meet Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo and visit the memorial to the 1,080 South African soldiers killed in the Battle of the Somme, whose centenary is being commemorated this year.