President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses G20 Investment Summit in Berlin
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has concluded a successful working visit to the Federal Republic of Germany where he attended the G20 Investment Summit and the G20 Compact with Africa Conference.
The visit reinforced cooperation between the governments of South Africa and Germany on bilateral and global issues and underscored the critical importance of German investment to South Africa’s efforts to stimulate sustainable and inclusive economic growth as a means to reduce poverty, unemployment and inequality.
On Tuesday, 30 October 2018, President Ramaphosa addressed the G20 Investment Summit in Berlin in his capacity as Co-chair of the G20 Africa Advisory Group. The Summit was attended by Heads of State and Government of Compact with Africa (CwA) countries as well as German business leaders who affirmed Africa as an attractive destination and partner for trade, investment and the transfer of skills and technology.
The G20 Compact with Africa conference reviewed progress made since the 2017 Hamburg Summit and leaders exchanged views on building on the partnership geared towards promotion of investment in Africa.
Also on Tuesday, President Ramaphosa had a business breakfast with German corporate leaders, trade financiers and investment promotion agencies who were hosted by Prof Heinz-Walter Grosse, Chairman of the Sub-Saharan Africa Initiative of German Business.
German business leaders briefed the President on their experiences in South Africa, including some of the challenges of doing business.
The President emphasised government’s commitment to listen to the needs and concerns of investors, and to address these as a matter of priority.
President Cyril Ramaphosa commended German investors for their continued engagement with South Africa. There are around 600 German companies in South Africa, employing more than 100 000 South Africans.
The President said German companies were among those committed partners who were accompanying South Africa on its journey of renewal after several years of poor economic performance.
President Ramaphosa assured German investors that government was leading an effort to energise South Africans to work in unison to end corruption and achieve sustainable, inclusive growth.
Ramaphosa commenced his working visit with a bilateral meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel, during which he expressed South Africa’s appreciation for Germany’s ongoing bilateral assistance in critical development areas like health and skills development.
President Ramaphosa and Chancellor Merkel reflected on measures taken by South Africa to improve the investment environment, including addressing policy uncertainty.
Ramaphosa also noted that several German companies had made investment announcements during the recent South Africa Investment Conference and that German companies played a significant role in developing skills and building capacity in South Africa.
The two leaders agreed that bilateral relations would be strengthened through the Binational Commission which will be convened early in 2019.
President Ramaphosa and Chancellor Merkel also agreed on intensified cooperation in the United Nations Security Council during the two countries’ respective UNSC terms in 2019-2020.
South Africa and Germany are committed to working together to ensure that the Security Council contributes meaningfully to resolving important questions on international peace and security.
The President and the Chancellor also agreed on the importance of continuing with the G20 Compact with Africa initiative, and committed to an expansion of trade and investment between South Africa and Germany.
Remarks by President Cyril Ramaphosa during the G20 Investment Summit
Thank you for this opportunity to share some insights on a partnership between Africa and the G20 that has great potential to transform the lives of the citizens and the fortunes of the businesses represented by the leadership gathered here today.
The G20 Compact with Africa is a pioneering initiative to support Africa’s ambition to mobilise domestic and international savings through an improved investment framework.
The initiative is based on the premise that accelerated economic development is achievable when African countries, G20 partner countries and international organisations work together to create a better environment for private investment to lift the standard of living for our people.
This initiative builds on earlier G20 initiatives in Africa, including the G20 Initiative on Supporting Industrialisation in Africa and Least Developed Countries, and the G20 Access to Energy Action Plan.
The Compact with Africa initiative is an instrument that can support the implementation of the African Union’s Agenda 2063, its Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development and the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa.
It is significant that this initiative has been developed as a partnership, where each African country is able to define its own priorities and needs.
This is critical for ensuring the success and continuity of the Compact.
The Compact with Africa also represents a firm political commitment from participating African countries to new developmental and governance approaches that will unlock economic activity.
We applaud fellow African countries that are participating in this initiative, demonstrating the value of global cooperation and coordination towards an industrialised, prosperous Africa.
Since its launch in 2017, we have already witnessed progress under the Compact with Africa Initiative.
We now have a list of flagship projects worth billions of US dollars which are identified and earmarked for investment.
We are convinced that the impact of the Compact with Africa initiative will be enhanced by the involvement of development finance institutions.
Among other things, these institutions have expertise and approaches that could be used to mobilise resources for Africa’s infrastructure.
As part of the effort to promote private investment on the continent, South Africa and the African Development Bank will host the inaugural Africa Investment Forum in Johannesburg from 7 to 9 November 2018.
The Africa Investment Forum is a transactional platform bringing together international financial institutions, sovereign wealth funds and institutional investors.
South Africa, Germany and the African Development Bank will also host the annual Compact with Africa Investor Event on the morning of 8 November.
This event presents an opportunity to showcase improved investment conditions in African countries participating in the Compact with Africa initiative, as well as concrete private sector activity into these countries.
These initiatives complement our own efforts in South Africa, where we launched an ambitious investment drive earlier this year to raise $100 billion in new investment over the next five years.
Last week, we hosted the inaugural South Africa Investment Conference in Johannesburg, which was attended by both local and international investors.
Significantly, there was also great interest from business people and investors from other African countries, suggesting that there is far more potential for intra-African investment.
As African governments work to improve the investment environment and market conditions in their countries, they will no doubt find investor interest not only from G20 countries, but also from other parts of the continent.
Allow me to conclude by thanking Chancellor Merkel and her government, and the German business community, for their steadfast commitment to ensuring that this ground-breaking initiative succeeds.
I thank you.