Jean-Jacques Cornish

Burundi and SA coperating in quest for prosperity

The man President Jacob Zuma threatened to denounce as a terrorist is currently making a state visit to South Africa as leader of Burundi.

Pierre Nkurunzia is spending his two-day stay in Cape Town where he and Zuma signed a joint cooperation commission agreement, adding further areas of cooperation like arts and culture, telecommunications and public works.

As deputy president, Jacob Zuma mediated the political settlement in Burundi a decade ago that brought Pierre Nkurunziza to power.

En route to this, he had to deal with the then Burundian rebel leader’s brinkmanship.

At one point he threatened to name Nkurunziza as an international terrorist if he did not return to the negotiating table.

At a business forum yesterday Zuma said South Africa and Burundi enjoy warm and friendly relations.

He congratulated Nkurunziza and the Burundi people for choosing peace and for the progress they’ve made since the end of the civil war in 2005.
Burundi and South Africa are currently waging a war on poverty, unemployment and inequality.

Having worked together in the quest for peace and democracy in Burundi, said Zuma, they are now co-operating in the quest for prosperity.

Burundi has considerable and attractive mining potential.
South Africa’s looking for opportunities in infrastructure development, especially in energy, transport, construction, telecommunications, aerospace and related industries.


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Jean-Jacques Cornish is a journalist and broadcaster who has been involved in the media all his adult life.

Starting as a reporter on his hometown newspaper, he moved briefly to then Rhodesia before returning to South Africa to become a parliamentary correspondent with the South African Press Association. He was sent to London as Sapa’s London editor and also served as special correspondent to the United Nations. He joined the then Argus group in London as political correspondent.

Returning to South Africa after 12 years abroad, he was assistant editor on the Pretoria News for a decade before becoming editor of the Star and SA Times for five years.

Since 1999 he’s been an independent journalist writing and broadcasting – mainly about Africa – for Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape
Talk, Radio France International, PressTV, Radio Live New Zealand, Business Day, Mail & Guardian, the BBC, Agence France Press,
Business in Africa, Leadership, India Today, the South African Institute for International Affairs and the Institute for Security Studies.

He has hosted current affairs talk shows on Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk. He appears as an African affairs pundit on SABC Africa and CNBC Africa.
He lectured in contemporary studies to journalism students at the Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Pretoria.

He speaks on African affairs to corporate and other audiences.
He has been officially invited as a journalist to more than 30 countries. He was the winner of the 2007 SADC award for radio journalism.

He’s been a member of the EISA team observing elections in Somaliland, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Tunsiai.

In October 2009 he headed a group of 39 African journalists to the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Peoples’ Republic of China.

In January 2010 he joined a rescue and paramedical team to earthquake struck Haiti.

He is immediate past president of the Alliance Francaise of Pretoria.

Jean-Jacques is a director of Giant Media. The company was given access to Nelson Mandela in his retirement years until 2009.
He is co-producer of the hour-long documentary Mandela at 90 that was broadcast on BBC in January 2009.