President concludes UK working visit

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

President Cyril Ramaphosa has concluded a successful working visit to the United Kingdom where he participated in the 6th Annual Financial Times Africa Summit.

Over the course of his two-day working visit, President Ramaphosa attended the Financial Times Africa Summit Speakers Dinner at Claridge’s in London on Sunday.

On Monday 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, the President called on business to form part of Africa’s great leap forward saying the African continent requires some $130 billion to $170 billion a year for infrastructure.

This he said, would only be achieved in collaboration with the global community, significant private funding, as well as 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’,” said the Presidency at the end of the working visit.

On energy matters, the President said there is a global move towards cleaner energy sources with the African continent perfectly situated for investment in wind, solar, bioenergy, hydro and natural gas.

He said South Africa’s renewable energy independent power producer (IPP) programme has attracted approximately $14 billion in private sector investment in 102 projects and created around 40,000 jobs.

President Ramaphosa also encouraged African countries to advance the interests of their people while also seeking solutions to African problems.

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.

Meanwhile, President Ramaphosa also received a courtesy call from the President of Sinn Fein, Mary Lou McDonald, and her delegation. The delegation included National Party Chairperson Declan Kearney MLA and Chris Hazzard.

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 UK.

On the side-lines 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 UK Tony Blair. The two discussed collaboration to drive South Africa’s ambitious investment drive and the sharing of experiences to enhance the capacity and capabilities of government. –