- Australia is looking up to Africa to get support in the UN Security Council.
This came up this week during the meetings between the Australian Foreign Minister, Stephen Smith and his South African counterpart, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, where he mentioned the country would pump in $12.5 million in additional aid to Africa to enhance ties as well as drum up support for a seat on the United Nations Security Council.
The two ministers also canvassed promising areas for multilateral cooperation.
"I strongly believe it is in both our own long-term national interests to be doing more together, regionally and internationally," Mr Smith was quoted saying during a speech to the South African Institute for International Affairs.
According to reports, Australia would contribute $6 million during the next two years towards UN peace building in the continent, with $4 million going to the UN Peacebuilding Fund and the other $2 million will specifically go towards support efforts in Burundi and Sierra Leone.
Mr Smith is the first Australian Foreign Minister to visit South Africa in more than seven years. He promised that Australia would increase African scholarships especially in the agricultural and minerals resources sectors.
On the other hand, Australia will also provide $500,000 to support South Africa in developing the Southern African Development Community climate change plan of action, while the minister also mentioned that his country would contribute up to $6 million in extra funding to cooperate with South Africa in supporting the recovery of the Zimbabwean economy and basic services.
The latter move has also been seen as a cautious move by Australia in coming to the aid of the Zimbabwe recovery strategy.
Reaffirming the need to strengthen existing relations and further expand cooperation, Ms Nkoana Mashabane said South Africa was looking forward to working with Australian businesses to further open up trade opportunities and allow investment to grow between SA and Australia.
"We are seeing some of Australia's successful businesses partnering with their South African counterparts. We would like to see more of such partnerships and more of Australia's businesses coming into South Africa," she said.
South Africa and Australia share common interests and could still do more on issues of defence, peace and security, agriculture as well as human development, said the minister.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.