President Cyril Ramaphosa embarked on a two-day working visit to the United States as part of the 78th United Nations General Assembly. His visit aimed to address sustainable development goals and bolster investment opportunities for South Africa. The President’s engagements during this visit showcased his commitment to fostering global cooperation and driving economic progress.
On Sunday, September 17, President Ramaphosa commenced his visit with a bilateral meeting with Professor Klaus Schwab, the CEO of the World Economic Forum (WEF). Discussions centered around South Africa’s participation in the WEF and the country’s ongoing reforms aimed at promoting inclusive economic growth. Both leaders recognized the importance of these reforms in advancing South Africa’s economic agenda.
President Ramaphosa also met with United States Congressman Gregory Meeks. Their discussions underscored the need for enhanced collaboration between the United States and South Africa in addressing global challenges affecting the African continent, particularly the repercussions of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on Africa. Congressman Meeks welcomed updates on the LadyR vessel docking investigation in Simmons Town, South Africa. He expressed his commitment to strengthening US-Africa diplomatic and trade relations, including attending the AGOA forum in South Africa later this year.
The first day of engagements concluded with President Ramaphosa’s meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Their discussions revolved around international financial architecture reforms, initiatives supporting Sustainable Development Goals, and United Nations Security Council reforms. Secretary-General Guterres commended South Africa for its pivotal role in advancing these efforts.
On Monday, September 18, President Ramaphosa addressed the High-Level Partnership for Maternal Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) event. During his speech, he called upon Heads of State and Government to join the Global Leaders Network and champion the health agenda for women, children, and adolescents. He emphasized their role in inspiring ambitious action and addressing the disregard for sexual and reproductive health and rights in many communities and countries.
Subsequently, at the Sustainable Development Goals Summit, President Ramaphosa joined the call to address long-standing development challenges characterizing the global landscape. He highlighted the necessity for targeted investments, technology transfer, and capacity building, particularly in crucial sectors such as industrialization, infrastructure, agriculture, water, energy, education, and health. The President stressed the importance of sustained financial support and favorable international trade policies to facilitate progress.
Later on Monday, President Ramaphosa led business roundtable discussions with the US Chamber of Commerce and the US-Africa Business Center. This platform allowed him to promote South Africa’s economic reform agenda, focusing on expanding industrial capacity, as an enticing opportunity for increased US investment. South Africa’s demonstrated manufacturing base served as a foundation for this partnership.
Finally, President Ramaphosa held a bilateral meeting with Nigerian President H.E Bola-Ahmed Tinubu. Discussions revolved around strengthening trade, diplomatic, and political ties between Nigeria and South Africa, along with addressing the current security situation in West Africa.
In summary, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s visit to the United States during the 78th UN General Assembly underscored his commitment to advancing sustainable development goals and securing investments for South Africa. His engagements with global leaders and business stakeholders highlighted the nation’s dedication to economic reform and international cooperation, positioning South Africa as a strategic partner in the global arena.