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Africa Day: A step towards Vision 2063

25 May 2018

In marking Africa Day, President Cyril Ramaphosa says the adoption of the Continental Free Trade Area shows the commitment by African leaders to follow in the footsteps of its forebears and unite in achieving the continent’s development goals.

Photo: President Cyril Ramaphosa addressing the Diplomatic Corps (Photo credit: Jacoline Schoonees)

“We are irrevocably committed to the realisation of the goals of Agenda 2063, Africa’s blueprint and vision for an integrated, prosperous and peaceful continent -- the Africa we want.

“Pursuant to this objective, we recognise the adoption just two months ago of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as an iconic milestone along our journey towards an eventual African Common Market, as envisioned in the 1991 Abuja Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community,” said the President.

 

 

He was speaking at a luncheon, where he hosted the Diplomatic Corps at the presidential guesthouse in Pretoria in celebration of Africa Day. The day is celebrated annually on May 25 to mark the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity, now known as the African Union.

Photo: Heads of Mission pictured with Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Reginah Mhaule (Photo credit: Jacoline Schoonees)


The President said the AfCFTA will enable Africa to significantly boost intra-Africa trade, improve economies of scale and establish an integrated market.
“It will also be a catalyst for industrial development, placing Africa on a path to exporting value-added products, improving Africa’s competitiveness both in its own markets and globally,” said the President.

Leveraging on a population of over one billion people, the AfCFTA is set to create a market of approximately US$2.6 trillion.

Insecurity on the continent
Reflecting on challenges still faced by the continent, the President called on his fellow African brothers and sisters to choose democracy through “the ballot instead of the bullet.”

BRICS Summit
With South Africa gearing to assume presidency of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) formation when it hosts the 10th BRICS Summit in July, President Ramaphosa assured the Diplomatic Corps that he will champion African interests and will convene an outreach session with African leaders.
“We believe this session will provide a platform for discussing ways and means of deepening cooperation with BRICS countries, including providing support for Continental industrialization and infrastructure development programmes,” he said.

UN Security Council
President Ramaphosa said that South Africa is humbled by the endorsement it received from the AU to serve in the UN Security Council for the period 2019 to 2020.
"We aim to use this opportunity to promote peace and security in the world, and more specifically in Africa where most of the world’s conflicts are located. As in its previous two terms on the UN Security Council South Africa will place emphasis on African Union-United Nations cooperation. As we approach the June 8 elections at the General Assembly we would like to take this opportunity to solicit your support for our candidature."

Centenary of Nelson Mandela
"This year marks the centenary of the birth of the founding father of our democracy, President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. As we celebrate his centenary, we remember Nelson Mandela as the struggle stalwart, freedom fighter and first democratic President of South Africa, whose commitment to justice, equality and non-racial South Africa was unwavering," said the President.

He concluded with the words of Kwame Nkrumah, who said: “The forces that unite us are intrinsic and greater than the superimposed influences that keep us apart.”

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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October 2018

 
 
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