- Cyril Ramaphosa called for the strengthening of relations between South Africa and the United Kingdom.
- Addressing the UK Parliament, Ramaphosa said he would raise the idea of allowing more SA students to study in Britain.
- He said the restructuring of the South African energy market to combat energy shortages could open up opportunities for UK companies.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for trade, trade and investment ties between South Africa and the UK to be reinvigorated.
Ramaphosa addressed MPs and peers in the Royal Gallery of the House of Lords during his state visit to Britain at the invitation of King Charles III and Britain’s Queen Consort Camilla.
He said he had discussed “initiatives that the Commonwealth can take under the leadership of His Majesty the King” over lunch at Buckingham Palace.
Ramaphosa said he would raise the idea of allowing more South African students to study in Britain when he meets Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Wednesday, adding that restructuring South Africa’s energy market to combat energy shortages could provide opportunities for British companies. .
By pursuing these and other avenues of cooperation, I believe we will define the relationship between South Africa and the UK in new and exciting ways.
Britain hopes the visit, which had been planned before Queen Elizabeth’s death in September, will strengthen trade and investment ties between the two nations and show the importance of ties with the Commonwealth of Nations, the international organization that Carlos now directs.
“This is a reinforcement of the strong bilateral relationship we have with South Africa, a real opportunity to build on that close working relationship and discuss some of the issues that affect us all,” British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly told Reuters. .
First state visit since 2019
Ramaphosa was officially welcomed by Charles’ eldest son and heir, Prince William, and his wife, Kate, at a central London hotel to mark the start of their two-day trip, the first state visit to the UK in a world leader ever since. of the then President of the United States, Donald Trump, and his wife, Melania, in 2019.
The last state visit to Britain by a South African leader was by former President Jacob Zuma in 2010.
Gun salutes and a welcome ceremony from the King and his wife, Camilla, the Queen Consort, followed by a grand carriage procession along The Mall to Buckingham Palace, where a banquet will later be held in honor of the King. of the president.
Ramaphosa was scheduled to visit Westminster Abbey to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior and view the memorial stone for former South African President Nelson Mandela.
READ | FULL SPEECH: History, Trade and Climate Change: President Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech to UK leaders
Ramaphosa said Britain supported South Africa to help free Mandela and end apartheid, and now called on Britain to support calls from low-income countries to reform the global institutional order and climate justice.
“Let us revive the moral purpose of the global fight against apartheid to confront the discrimination, inequality and injustice that divides humanity and stifles progress for all,” he said.