South African President Jacob Zuma is scheduled to leave the country on Thursday to attend the inauguration of Nigerian President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari.
The inauguration of the former military leader, who won elections held two months ago, is scheduled to take place in Abuja on Friday.
Following Buhari’s win over incumbent Goodluck Jonathan at the end of March, Zuma was among the first Heads of State to confirm attendance of the swearing-in ceremony.
In his congratulatory message, Zuma expressed his commitment to working closely with President-Elect Buhari to enhance the good bilateral relations which exist between South Africa and Nigeria, paying particular focus on the strengthening of economic cooperation.
He also congratulated the people of Nigeria for conducting a "peaceful, transparent, credible, free and fair election" as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission of Nigeria.
A statement from Zuma’s office stated South Africa and Nigeria enjoyed “warm and cordial” relations since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1994, which culminated in the creation of the Bi-National Commission (BNC) in 1999.
The two countries have already signed 34 Bilateral Agreements and cooperation continues to grow.
“The Working Visit to Nigeria presents an ideal opportunity for President Zuma to further strengthen and consolidate historic and strategic relations between the two countries, and to discuss regional and international issues of mutual concern,” his office stated.
Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, will accompany Zuma to Nigeria.

– CAJ News