President Ramaphosa Arrives in the UK for G7 Summit
President Ramaphosa Arrives in the UK for G7 Summit

President Cyril Ramaphosa has arrived in Cornwall in the United Kingdom (UK) for the G7 Leaders’ Summit. Although South Africa is not part of the G7, he is attending the Summit at the invitation of the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Which countries are in the G7?

The G7 (Group of Seven) comprises the following wealthy democracies: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

This year’s Summit, hosted by PM Johnson, brings together leaders to discuss efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic and create a greener and more prosperous future for all. It runs from today (11 June) to Sunday 13 June.

Why was South Africa invited to the G7 summit?

President Ramaphosa has been invited in recognition of South Africa’s leadership role on the African continent and globally in the fight against the pandemic, including championing vaccine equity within and between nations, the Presidency said in a statement.

“The President’s working visit to the United Kingdom also affords South Africa and the host country an opportunity to deepen the strong ties that characterise bilateral relations,” it said.

South Africa has also been invited for its role as Co-Chair of the ACT-Accelerator Facilitation Council, which aims to expedite research, manufacturing and equitable distribution of vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics across the world.

President Ramaphosa Arrives in the UK for G7 Summit
A fine welcome for South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa in Cornwall, the UK. Photo: GCIS

President Ramaphosa and his counterparts will deliberate on proposals formulated during Ministerial talks in the lead-up to the Leaders’ Summit.

The South African President will participate in three working sessions at the G7 summit on:

  • Health,
  • Open Societies and Economies, and
  • Climate and Nature.

“The Leaders’ Summit will allow South Africa to push for a swift international response to COVID-19 that enables the equitable and affordable access of COVID19 vaccines and medical supplies. Such a response should include financial support from wealthy countries for ACT-A and the adoption of a TRIPS waiver at the WTO,” said the Presidency.

On the issue of climate change, South Africa will argue for a global commitment to a just transition for developing economies and significantly scaled-up support for adaptation and implementation support.

President Ramaphosa is accompanied by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor.

UPDATE: FAB Photos of President Ramaphosa on the beach in Cornwall with other world leaders for the G7 Summit