Port Elizabeth - President Cyril Ramaphosa will lead the South African delegation to the annual G20 Leaders’ Summit when he undertakes a working visit to Japan from 28 to 29 June 2019, the Presidency said in a statement on Thursday.
It will be the president's first international engagement since his inauguration after the May general elections. It is also the first time Japan will host the G20 Summit, the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting, the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, and other ministerial meetings.
The summit will be held in Osaka while other meetings will be hosted at eight different locations throughout Japan.
Ramaphosa will be accompanied by Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Dr Naledi Pandor and Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel.
The G20 was established in 1999 to increase multilateral co-operation for the recovery of the global economy, bring stability to the global financial system, promote long-term sustainable growth and to strengthen growth and global governance.
This year's summit will focus on eight key themes spanning the global economy, trade and investment, innovation, environment and energy, employment, women’s empowerment, development and health, the statement said.
It said that the themes mirror South Africa's focus areas as outlined in Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address last week Thursday.
"South Africa’s participation in the summit arises from South Africa’s international relations policy which is directed at creating a better South Africa and contributing to a better Africa and a better world," the Presidency said.
It said the summit provides a platform for South Africa to secure financial and other support for infrastructure development, which will advance "the G20 Compact with Africa initiative and reinforcing the need for strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth at the national and global level".
The country, which has co-chaired the G20 Development Working Group since 2010, will garner support for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals in Africa and developing regions and countries.
This will include combating illicit financial flows that deprive Africa of resources that could otherwise be harnessed for its development.
"Through this platform, South Africa has been able to support the Japanese Presidency’s deliverable on Human Capital Investment that brings together education and health," the statement said.
Among others, Ramaphosa will attend the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) leaders meeting, which Brazil will chair.
He will convene the standing trilateral meeting of African leaders to discuss Africa's priorities for the summit with African Union chair, Egypt, and Senegal (Nepad president).
Ramaphosa will also join the China-Africa leaders meeting in which South Africa, Egypt, Senegal and United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres will participate, as well as a series of bilateral meetings with other leaders on the side of G20 Summit.
Finally, Ramaphosa will address a business round table engagement with Japanese business leaders, which Patel will chair.
African News Agency (ANA)