South African president Cyril Ramaphosa addresses EU parliament

South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa is in Europe a bid to strengthen to strengthen SA-EU ties. Ramaphosa addressed the European Union parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission. The president also has high profile visits to Strasbourg, France and Brussels.

President Ramaphosa was invited by the President of European parliament Antonio Tajani, as part of their progressive alliance of socialist democrats’ initiative.  In the address which was themed a “partnership of equals based on shared values”, he highlighted that the best way to ensure a stable Africa is through investment.

The goal of this meeting for both the EU and SA is to advance cooperation at a political and economic level.  The meeting is held with hopes of cooperation in the fields of education, technology, Industrial policy, innovation, research and space policy in South Africa and the African continent at large.

The meeting is also aimed at connecting the African network with the European network, finding new way to help the youth on both continents by investing and opening new avenues for infrastructure and digital infrastructure.

President Antonio Tajani said that the relationship between South Africa, the EU and UK will remain the same even after Brexit. President Ramaphosa reaffirmed this regard and noted that the EU is still South Africa’s largest trading bloc, and his presence there is to consolidate their relationship and enhance cooperation.

There are many challenges that South Africa to collaborate with the EU in, which include poverty, inequality, education, investment, however there are also opportunities that both SA and EU can participate in, in terms of trade and commerce.

 

By Mokgethi Mtezuka’

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