South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday told his xenophobic compatriots that their country’s future lay in trading with fellow Africans north of the Limpopo River.
Speaking in his weekly newsletter on Monday after the just-ended state visit of his Nigerian counterpart, Muhammadu Buhari, Ramaphosa said his country should place their future in trading with fellow Africans as partners.
In this regard, the president said he was optimistic South Africa would benefit immensely through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which was this year launched in the Nigerien capital of Niamey in July.
“South Africa’s future lies in Africa. It is through our trading with the rest of the continent that we will grow our industries,” he said.
According to the president, “it is expected that over the next few decades, there will be a massive increase in investment in infrastructure across Africa, which should benefit South African construction companies, manufacturers and banks.”
He noted that other African economies are together growing at a rate far greater than South Africa’s and that the country needs to take advantage of such growth.
“It is for this reason that we have embraced the AfCFTA,” the president said, expressing hope of doing more business with Nigeria after what he called successful talks with Buhari, his officials and business.
This was why the two leaders agreed to set up a Joint Ministerial Advisory Council on Industry, Trade and Investment to facilitate business by cutting mutual red tape, he said.