South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has underscored the importance of stability in driving and sustaining a vibrant trade ecosystem within the continent.
A stable and peaceful Africa, he said, is essential as the continent seeks to build a dynamic trade system that will transform economies.
“For Africa to thrive, we must silence the guns. The vibrant trading Africa we seek to build, depends on Africa being stable and peaceful,” he said.
He added that: “We are currently involved in supporting the people of Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo to ensure that there is peace and stability in their countries”.
Mr. Ramaphosa said this in an address ahead of the 2023 Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Business Summit slated for August 22 to August 24 at Johannesburg, South Africa. It is on the theme ‘BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development and Inclusive Multilateralism’.
“We continue to work within the African Union to end several ongoing conflicts on the continent and restore constitutional and democratic government to countries that have recently experienced coups,” he added.
Trade, investment and infrastructure development
President Ramaphosa also disclosed commitments toward strengthening the African Union to increase its capacity to support the achievement of greater integration on the continent.
In this regard, he said: “We want to build a partnership between BRICS and Africa so that our continent can unlock opportunities for increased trade, investment and infrastructure development.
“There are great opportunities for other BRICS countries to participate in the African Continental Free Trade Area by locating production and services in various countries on the African continent, including our own [South Africa], by partnering with local companies and entrepreneurs.”
He also advocated an open and rules-based global governance, trade, financial and investment system which does not depend on the exercise of power or unilateralism, but on the advancement of the interests of the people of the world.
South Africa holds a formidable position in intra-African trade. With exports reaching nearly GH₵15billion, South Africa retains a dominant role, influencing the direction of trade within the continent.
It also accounts for a staggering 23.8 percent of the total import value from African countries. Egypt follows closely with 14.3 percent. Remarkably, South Africa stands as the sole African trade partner exceeding imports worth GH₵3billion.
The 15th BRICS Summit will discuss a number of issues, including the possible expansion of membership.
More than 20 countries have formally applied to join BRICS, and several others have expressed an interest in becoming part of the BRICS bloc.
In line with this, president Ramaphosa expressed support for the expansion of the BRICS group of emerging market powers, saying an expanded BRICS will represent a diverse group of nations which share a common desire to have a more balanced world order.
BRICS plays an important role in the world due to its economic power, market potential, political influence and development cooperation.
Together, the members of BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – make up a quarter of the global economy, they account for a fifth of global trade and are home to more than 40 percent of the world’s population.