South African president Cyril Ramaphosa at the Financial Times Africa Summit. Picture: Supplied

Durban - President Cyril Ramaphosa told an audience of global investors and business leaders on Monday to join the African continent as it progressed. 

He was delivering the keynote address at the 6th Financial Times Africa Summit in London. 

Ramaphosa called for global business to be part of Africa’s "great leap forward", saying while Africa’s infrastructure needs amounted to some $130 billion to $170 billion a year, this would only be achieved with collaboration with the global community, significant private funding and partnerships for mutual benefit, said his spokesperson Khusela Diko. 

South Africa was in the process of setting up an infrastructure fund to leverage investments from financial institutions, multilateral development banks, asset managers and commercial banks, Ramaphosa told the audience. 
 
He said that with the global move towards cleaner energy sources, Africa was perfectly situated for investment in wind, solar, bioenergy, hydro and natural gas. South Africa’s renewable energy independent power producer programme, for example, had attracted approximately $14 billion in private sector investment in 102 projects and created around 40 000 jobs.
 
The president also encouraged African countries to advance the interests of their people. He further called on African leaders to seek African solutions to African problems by dealing with the rest of the world on Africa’s own terms, thus rejecting negative external influences which fuelled conflict and entrenched “theatres of war” in the continent.
 
On the sidelines of the summit, Ramaphosa met several political leaders and prospective investors to advance South Africa’s investment drive.
 
He also received a courtesy call from former United Kingdom prime minister Tony Blair, said Diko. 

She said the two discussed a collaboration to enhance South Africa’s investment drive, and the sharing of experiences to add to the capacity and capabilities of government.

African News Agency (ANA)