Congo Republic President's Message Ahead of State Visit: "Africa is Ready to Take its Rightful Place in Global Economy"

By President Denis Sassou Nguesso, PRNE
Monday, April 5, 2010

LONDON, April 6, 2010 - Ahead of his state visit to South Africa later this week President Denis
Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of Congo has given an upbeat message about the
future of Africa emphasising the importance of seeking African solutions to
Africa's problems.

President Sassou's state visit on April 8th and 9th will be the first
hosted by President Jacob Zuma of South Africa.

A key player in African politics for 40 years President Sassou
contributed to struggle to end apartheid by supporting the ANC and he will be
talking to President Zuma about progress in building economic development,
regional integration and stability for his own country and Africa as a whole.

In a personal statement issued from Congo Brazzaville ahead of the visit,
President Sassou said:

"Africa is now a net contributor to global prosperity and its role in the
future global economy will become increasingly important with access to
natural resources and the significance of the continent for many
international issues including climate change.

"The World Cup in Africa is just one tangible aspect of a long journey
towards global recognition of Africa's pivotal role.

"I believe in the importance of seeking African solutions to Africa's
problems taking our often challenging past into an exciting future.

"You can find the world in Africa - everyone and everything is here. But
more importantly we want to find Africa in the world, in its rightful place
as a major international player.

"But to take our rightful place, we must do it ourselves. No more relying
on colonial relationships.

"In my own country there are many ways that we are shaping a more
prosperous future. We have just signed co-operation agreements with Qatar,
our management of debt has received approval from the World Bank and new
reserves of oil in the Moho Nord field have been announced and will be
developed soon.

"Two thousand South African farmers have registered to take advantage of
our lucrative investment opportunities presented by us making millions of
hectares of government-owned land available in the Republic of Congo with tax
incentives for development.

"We must work more closely together on economic and trading solutions. We
must look to political partnerships and not divisions. We must respect one

"Because by integrating with one another, by working more closely with
one another, we show the world how it can be done.

"And the world needs help. Climate change is an issue. How we get out of
this global recession in a better, fitter form is an issue. How we ensure the
world becomes a fairer place with justice for all is an issue.

"We can take our own lessons, our resources, our growing prosperity, and
can bring them to a world in need - a world whose problems with climate
change and equality are not going away.

"We have had our problems in the Republic of Congo; we have experienced
difficulties in these many areas which are African issues.

"Progress has been made, and continues to be made : for example, GDP in
Republic of Congo is forecast to grow in the region of 8% in 2010.

"This does not happen by accident. It comes about through working, and
even better through working together.

"Closer working and alignment, such as this visit to South Africa, show
hope for the future, not just for the Congo but the whole of Africa," he

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma will receive President Denis
Sassou-Nguesso of the Republic of Congo for a state visit to the Republic of
South Africa scheduled for 08 and 09 April 2010.

For further information regarding President Sassou's statement please call Malcolm Munro, Bell Pottinger Good Relations, on +44-7795-013006 or +44-7824-473861.

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