Political dialogue and bilateral cooperation, particularly the aspects related to the High Joint Commission, will be the main focus of the discussions between President of the Republic Abdelaziz Bouteflika and South African President Jacob Zuma, who has started a two-day working visit to Algeria. The situation in Sahel, especially in Mali and the upcoming elections, will be on the agenda of the visit which will be also an opportunity to assess the progress made in the different projects since the 5th High Joint Cooperation Commission in 2010. Algeria and South Africa are bound by a series of joint projects in various strategic fields, including defence, agriculture, industry, scientific research and human resources training. Since the first session of Algeria-South Africa High Joint Commission in 1998, the quality of bilateral relations have significantly improved, especially with the implementation of several agreements in the fields of mining, oil, transports, construction, telecommunications and new technologies. The past years were also marked by the signing of a number of memorandums of understanding in energy, including the MoU signed between the national hydrocarbon company SONATRACH and Petroleum South Africa in 2010, as well as in the fields of sports, tourism and civil nuclear energy. However, Foreign Medelci underlined in 2010 that bilateral cooperation "has not yet reached the level commensurate with the partnership potentials of the two countries." Jacob Zuma’s visit will be thus an opportunity to enhance cooperation and identify new partnership possibilities. The two sides will also examine means and ways to enhance their bilateral and continental cooperation, particularly as the two countries were among the initiators of a number of African mechanisms, including the New Partnership fro Africa’s Development (NEPAD). "Algeria is South Africa’s major partner in the Maghreb region and also in Africa’s integration and development at both regional and continental levels," said South African officials.