SA President Cyril Ramaphosa

PRETORIA - President Cyril Ramaphosa has departed for Canada to participate in the G7 Leaders' meeting focusing on the world's oceans, while at the same time using the opportunity to encourage investment.

The G7 Summit Outreach will be held in Québec City under the theme "Healthy, Productive and Resilient Oceans and Seas, Coasts and Communities". 

Ramaphosa has been invited to the two-day summit by the host, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

In a statement, the SA presidency said Ramaphosa’s participation in the G7 Leaders’ Summit Outreach coincides with his drive to attract investment to grow the economy, create jobs and address poverty and inequality in South Africa. 

During the visit, it is envisaged that he will engage with investors and business people in Toronto. 

Ramaphosa will be accompanied by Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa and a business delegation from South Africa.

The presidency added that the focus of the G7 Outreach meeting on Healthy, Productive and Resilient Oceans and Seas, Coasts and Communities, is in line with the goals outlined in South Africa’s National Development Plan and speaks to the country’s efforts to stimulate economic growth and job creation by, amongst others, unlocking the oceans economy through Operation Phakisa.

"There has been a realisation that South Africa’s long-term development goals cannot be reliant solely on land-based resources," the statement said. "With a sprawling coastline of 3,924km, the ocean and ocean resources form an integral part of the development mix.

"Development of the coastal space has been largely untapped and holds the potential to add an additional one million jobs and contribute up to US$13,6bn (R177bn) to the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country."

Operation Phakisa has also been adopted as part of government’s economic transformation agenda. The six focus areas identified under Operation Phakisa are Marine Transport and Manufacturing, Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration, Marine Protected Areas and Ocean Governance, Aquaculture, Marine and Coastal Tourism, and Small Harbours and Coastal Property Development.

The statement added that the summit provides an opportunity for South Africa to contribute globally to the management of the oceans, seas and coastal areas within an integrated environmental, economic and social approach in the form of sustainable development.

The two-day session will begin with a dinner for the Outreach Leaders hosted by the Governor-General of Canada on Friday in Québec City. 

The G7 consists of Canada, the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy. Other states whose leaders have been invited to participate in the Leaders’ Summit Outreach include Kenya, Senegal, Rwanda, Seychelles, Haiti, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Samoa, Argentina, Norway and Jamaica.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, United Nations (UN) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will also be in attendance.

- African News Agency (ANA)