Wednesday, 19 May 2021

France: President Cyril Ramaphosa has concluded a successful visit to Paris, in France, where he participated in the Summit on the Financing of African Economies hosted by President Emmanuel Macron.

In a statement, the President said Summit leaders stated their ambition to act together and fight the great divergence occurring within and between countries.

“The summit recognised the role of extensive immunisation against COVID-19 as [a] global public good and committed to ensure and accelerate equitable access in Africa to safe and affordable vaccines, treatments and diagnostics through the ACT-Accelerator and its COVAX facility,” said the President in a statement on Tuesday.

The Summit, said the Presidency, called for a swift decision on and implementation of an unprecedented general allocation of the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights (SDRs).

The SDRs are expected to amount to 650 billion US dollars, of which 33 billion US dollars will be used to increase reserve assets of African countries.

At the Summit, leaders expressed support for African national strategies on growth and jobs, and welcomed the ambition to develop an Alliance for Entrepreneurship in Africa, with a broad pan- African reach and strong business focus.

The Presidency said the alliance will help mobilise all partners ready to support, through financial and technical resources, the development of the private sector on the continent.

During the two-day visit, President Cyril Ramaphosa held bilateral talks with African Union Chairperson and Democratic Republic of Congo President Félix Tshisekedi; Angola President João Lourenço; Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara; Mozambique President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi; Senegal President Macky Sall; Rwanda President Paul Kagame, and Togo’s President Faure Gnassingbé to enhance South Africa’s diplomatic relations.

Ahead of the start of the Summit last night, President Ramaphosa and President Macron of the French Republic met for bilateral talks at the Élysée Palace.

State Visit

The leaders’ discussion, paved the way for the State Visit that President Macron will undertake to South Africa at the end of May 2021.

The leaders also discussed vaccine production and distribution, with President Ramaphosa emphasising the importance of the temporary waiver of the World Trade Organisation regulations on intellectual property, to enable Africa to expand its capability to produce vaccines that will combat COVID-19 and future pandemics.

In anticipation of the State visit, President Macron expressed interest to establish a partnership with South African vaccine – producing institutions, to enhance manufacturing capacity.

South Africa and France’s relations spans across areas of cooperation in energy, education, science and technology, as well as trade and investment among others. The relations extend to the European Union, making South Africa a key trading partner.

Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor and Acting Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, accompanied President Ramaphosa.