South Africa, EU seal nuclear energy deal
Johannesburg: South Africa and the European Union on Thursday sealed a EUR 100 million (USD 130 million) nuclear energy deal which will initially light up 300,000 rural households in Africa`s wealthiest economy.
The agreement for the "peaceful use of nuclear energy" was signed between the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) and South Africa.
The rural electrification scheme will power up areas in remote parts of South Africa.
South Africa hosted the EU, its largest trading partner, for a one-day summit which was themed on job creation.
Around 77 percent of South Africa`s total foreign direct investment comes from the EU.
President Jacob Zuma said in the past five years, South Africa received a total of 350 foreign direct investment projects from the EU, resulting in the creation of 48,686 jobs in the country.
On the other hand, investments by 37 South African companies in the EU bloc have seen the creation of new 2,371 jobs.
That shows that "our partnership with the EU has borne fruit," said Zuma.
South Africa is battling one of the world`s highest unemployment rates with one in every four employable persons jobless.
Jose Manuel Barroso, the chief of the European Commission, said the summit had discussed growth and employment.
"This is one of the top priorities of our partnership, a great challenge that we share.
"In Europe, we can be more positive than one year ago on economic recovery," he said. "However we still have to do more to address youth and unemployment."
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