Ramaphosa calls for equitable world order

President Cyril Ramaphosa wants to strengthen ties between Africa and China. Picture: Siyabulela Duda/GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa wants to strengthen ties between Africa and China. Picture: Siyabulela Duda/GCIS

Published Aug 24, 2023


President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for an equitable world order underpinned by the principles of the UN Charter.

He said Africa will work closely with China in multilateral institutions.

He said Africa and China will continue to deepen their relations for years to come.

He described China as an important partner that will help in the development and upgrade of infrastructure in Africa.

He said that for the last few years, China’s involvement on the continent has led to a number of initiatives.

This signifies changes in the global system and world order.

Ramaphosa, who was addressing the China-Africa Leaders Dialogue in Johannesburg on Thursday, said the relationship between the two partners will continue to grow for years to come.

He said Pretoria also has a special relationship with Beijing and this was shown in the state visit by Chinese president Xi Jinping this week.

“The State Visit afforded us an opportunity to share views and to affirm the importance of our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. We discussed the deepening of South-South cooperation and issues of mutual interest in international affairs within the multilateral formations of BRICS, the G20, the G77 plus China, and others. We have also just concluded the 15th BRICS Summit. A priority of South Africa’s chairship of BRICS is to address African developmental challenges, building on an existing partnership to deliver tangible benefits for Africa,” said Ramaphosa.

He said all BRICS partners were important investors on the continent.

The New Development Bank will play a crucial role in Africa in mobilising resources for infrastructure and other projects.

Ramaphosa said China’s Road and Belt Initiative has resulted in a number of projects on the continent.

This led to the building of road and rail infrastructure in Africa.

But Ramaphosa said they need to ensure that they put in place the resources required to build infrastructure.

"The New Development Bank, with its African Regional Centre in Johannesburg, also continues to mobilise resources for infrastructure development in the global South. The significant infrastructure investment needed to operationalise the African Continental Free Trade Area will unlock the benefits of the continental market and generate mutually beneficial opportunities for both African and BRICS countries. These opportunities relate not only to trade and investment but also in driving sustainable development and increased standards of living for our people," said Ramaphosa.

The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) was an important instrument to strengthen relations between Africa and China.

At the heart of FOCAC has been infrastructure development, said Ramaphosa.

But they want to review all FOCAC projects to look at the level of implementation and address any challenges.

But China’s involvement in China has over the years shown results, and there is no doubt what the Belt and Road Initiative has been able to deliver.

"China’s Belt and Road Initiative has resulted in the creation of new road, rail, port, and energy investments in Africa. Investing in infrastructure is essential to diversify economies, promote private sector activity, and boost job creation. Infrastructure investment also fosters innovation and productivity, lowers transaction costs, and will improve Africa’s integration and connectivity," said Ramaphosa.

The next few years will be critical for growth and development in Africa.

This will be a result of initiatives with key partners like China.

However, at the heart of the growth and development agenda for Africa is the AfCFTA.

Africa will also continue to work closely with China in multilateral institutions.

[email protected]

IOL Politics