President Cyril Ramaphosa has concluded a successful working visit to London in the United Kingdom where he participated in the 6th Annual Financial Times Africa Summit.
President Ramaphosa commenced his two-day working visit by attending the Financial Times Africa Summit Speakers Dinner at Claridge’s, London, yesterday evening.
The President also received a courtesy call from the President of Sinn Fein, Ms Mary Lou McDonald, and her delegation including the National Party Chairperson, Mr Declan Kearney MLA and Mr Chris Hazzard, MP. South Africa enjoys a strong fraternal relationship with Ireland, as does South Africa’s governing party, the African National Congress, with Sinn Fein. In 1998, President Ramaphosa was appointed as a weapons inspector in Ireland by the government of the United Kingdom.
This morning, the President delivered the keynote address at the 6th Financial Times Africa Summit, to an audience of investors, financiers and business leaders from various parts of the world.
In his address, President Ramaphosa called for global business to be part of Africa’s great leap forward, saying while Africa’s infrastructure needs amounted to some $130 billion to $170 billion a year, this would only be achieved with collaboration with the global community, significant private funding and partnerships for mutual benefit.
For its part, South Africa was in the process of setting up an Infrastructure Fund to leverage investments from financial institutions, multilateral development banks, asset managers and commercial banks.
President Ramaphosa said that, with the global move towards cleaner energy sources, Africa was perfectly situated for investment in wind, solar, bioenergy, hydro and natural gas. South Africa’s renewable energy independent power producer programme, for example, has attracted approximately $14 billion in private sector investment in 102 projects and created around 40,000 jobs.
The President also encouraged African countries to advance the interests of their people. He further called on African leaders to seek African solutions to African problems by dealing with the rest of the world on Africa’s own terms, thus rejecting negative external influences which fuel conflict and entrench “theatres of war” in the continent.
On the sidelines of the Summit, the President met several political leaders and prospective investors to advance South Africa’s investment drive.
President Ramaphosa also received a courtesy call from the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Mr Tony Blair, with whom the President discussed collaboration to drive South Africa’s ambitious investment drive and the sharing of experiences to enhance the capacity and capabilities of government.
The Office of the President, South Africa