President Cyril Ramaphosa and President of the European Union Parliament, Antonio Tajani during the Welcome Ceremony at the European Parliament. Ramaphosa was due to address the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. PHOTO: Supplied by GCIS
President Cyril Ramaphosa and President of the European Union Parliament, Antonio Tajani during the Welcome Ceremony at the European Parliament. Ramaphosa was due to address the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. PHOTO: Supplied by GCIS
The welcome ceremony at the European Parliament where SA President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg. PHOTO: Supplied by GCIS
The welcome ceremony at the European Parliament where SA President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg. PHOTO: Supplied by GCIS
President Cyril Ramaphosa and President of the European Union Parliament, Antonio Tajani during the welcome ceremony at the European Parliament. PHOTO: Supplied by GCIS
President Cyril Ramaphosa and President of the European Union Parliament, Antonio Tajani during the welcome ceremony at the European Parliament. PHOTO: Supplied by GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Without opportunity, investment and economic growth, the African continent cannot hope to have political and social stability, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Wednesday as he addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg in France.

“Without opportunity, without investment, without thriving economies that enable us all to enjoy our place in the sun, we cannot hope to have political and social stability on the African continent,” he said.

Ramaphosa gave the address as part of a working visit to the European Union. 

According to the statement from the presidency, South Africa is the only African country, and one of ten countries globally, that has a strategic partnership with the European Union. The SA-EU strategic partnership covers over 20 sectoral policy dialogues on diverse issues, including development cooperation and science and technology, among others.

The president said that the nations of the EU are a source of investment, trade, skills and knowledge, which has helped South Africa in its quest to grow the economy and improve the lives of people.

“Since 2007, South Africa and the EU have enjoyed the mutual benefits of a strategic partnership that continues to play a meaningful role in our country’s economic growth,” said Ramaphosa. “Nelson Mandela was an ardent advocate for Pan-Africanism and believed that the continent could only reach her full potential if her peoples were united.

“In pursuing this goal, there are many lessons we can draw from the European Union’s path to integration, to economic and political union, and to achieving social progress,” he said, adding that South Africa noted the tireless work of the European Parliament to ensure that the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty (an international agreement that amends the two treaties which form the constitutional basis of the EU) on the eradication of poverty continue to underpin the EU’s approach to external development cooperation.

- African News Agency (ANA)