President Cyril Ramaphosa arrived yesterday, 17 May 2021, in Paris, France, to participate in the Summit on the Financing of African Economies.
At the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron, South Africa’s Ramaphosa will be joining several African Heads of State and Government as well as leaders of global financing institutions at the Grand Palais Ephémère today, 18 May 2021.
President Macron held a Welcome Dinner in honour of all the African Heads of State, and government, at the Élysée Palace last night.
Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, and the Acting Minister in the Presidency, Ms Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, are accompanying President Ramaphosa on this working visit.
The purpose of the Summit is to support the economic recovery of African countries that have been affected by the health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It also aims to foster investments in Africa and avert the risk of excessive debt, the Presidency said in a statement.
Delegates will deliberate on debt relief and support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) through special drawing rights (SDRs).
Leaders will also look at how to provide capital to the private sector on the African continent to support investments that will catalyse inclusive economic activity, create employment and accelerate the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals.
During his trip President Ramaphosa is holding bilateral meetings with African Union Chairperson President Félix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo, President João Lourenço of the Republic of Angola, President Alassane Ouattara of the Republic of Ivory Coast and President Macky Sall of the Republic of Senegal to enhance South Africa’s diplomatic relations.
The situation in Mozambique is expected to also be on the agenda.
The Summit follows a series of global stimulus packages initiatives, including:
- the World Bank’s $14 billion fast-tracking of COVID-19 financing,
- the African Development Bank’s $10 billion COVID-19 Response Facility, and
- the International Monetary Fund’s concessional financing and debt relief to assist countries and companies in their response to the pandemic.
European leaders, representatives of G7 and G20 countries and of international institutions such as the IMF, World Bank, Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) are among Summit delegates.