Cape Town 180215- Cyril Ramaphosa ,the Fifht President of the country is sworn in as the President of South Africa by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng swears in Parliament. FILE PHOTO: Cindy Waxa/African News Agency/ANA

JOHANNESBURG, April 16 (ANA) - South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday, appointed some of the country's financial heavyweights to head up an ambition investment drive aimed at attracting at least U.S.$100 billion in new foreign direct investments to the economy over the next five years.

Ramaphosa appointed former finance minister Trevor Manuel, former deputy minister of finance Mcebisi Jonas, executive chairperson of Afropulse Group Phumzile Langeni, and chairman of Liberty Group Jacko Maree, as the president's special envoys on investment.

Ramaphosa said that the group will be travelling to major financial centres in Asia, Middle East, Europe and the Americas to meet with potential investors, and also seek out investors in other parts of Africa, from Nairobi to Lagos and from Dakar to Cairo.

"These are people with valuable experience in the world of business and finance and extensive networks across major markets. This is part of a broader push by government to advance economic integration in the Southern African region and across the continent," Ramaphoa said.

"In addition to the processes we must undertake within the country to finalise our participation in the African Continental Free Trade Area, we will also be pursuing other initiatives to promote intra-African cooperation on investment, infrastructure development, tourism and agriculture."

Ramaphosa, who will lead a South African delegation to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting this week in London, said that the drive will culminate in an Investment Conference to be held in August or September 2018, a forum to discuss the investment climate. 

Foreign direct investment in South Africa declined from around R76 billion in 2008 to just R17.6 billion last year.

 - African News Agency (ANA), Editing by Devereaux Morkel