South Africa 6.7.2018 08:33 am

Ramaphosa wants Africa to shake itself free of need for aid

Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, left, with President Cyril Ramaphosa in Pretoria, 5 July 2018. Picture: ANA

Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, left, with President Cyril Ramaphosa in Pretoria, 5 July 2018. Picture: ANA

The president hosted his counterpart from Ghana, the first country to gain its independence in Africa, this week.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has agreed with his visiting counterpart Ghana President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo saying “we concur with your profound statement that the African economic transformation we desire will not come through aid”.

The South African president made the remarks a state banquet held during the state visit of the Ghana leader on Thursday night.

Speaking at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guest House, Ramaphosa said: “No country can sustainably grow on the basis of foreign aid or philanthropy. We have to do it on our own.”

The president added: “We have at our disposal an abundance of natural and human resources that can be developed and harnessed to put Africa on a path of sustainable economic development.

“To do this, Africa has to embrace and participate meaningfully in the fourth industrial revolution to develop our human capital and to beneficiate our natural resources. We must do more to promote intra-Africa trade and investment.

“Ghanaians are therefore invited and welcomed to invest in South Africa, and South Africans are also urged to invest further in Ghana.”

Addressing his guest, the president said: “Your visit has allowed us to reaffirm the strategic bilateral relations between our two countries. It has enabled us to further commit ourselves to working together to enhance close political, economic and social cooperation in keeping with our mutual desire to establish a firmer strategic partnership.”

Ramaphosa said the decision taken earlier on Thursday to elevate the existing Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation to a Bi-National Commission at Heads of State level was a “signal of our intention”.

He added: “While we have noted with appreciation the increasing economic cooperation between our two countries, we have also urged our private sectors to take advantage of the economic opportunities existing in our respective countries. We have challenged them to identify game-changing economic projects in the identified sector.”

Ramaphosa expressed his gratitude to Ghana for its support during the struggle against apartheid.

“We recall with gratitude and respect Ghana’s distinguished contribution towards the emancipation of the African continent.”

The president said South Africa paid homage to the former president Kwame Nkrumah, who famously declared: “Our independence is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of Africa.”

Ramaphosa said: “We have taken to heart his message that there is a constant need for our continent to be unified in pursuit of our common goals. As fellow Africans, we can testify that President Nkrumah’s statement was given practical expression in Ghana’s support for the total liberation of Africa.

“Many freedom fighters and political refugees from the continent and the Pan-African fraternity in the diaspora were welcomed in your country with the legendary Ghanaian hospitality as they sought refuge from colonial persecution and apartheid destruction.

“These include great luminaries such as Frantz Fanon, George Padmore, WEB Du Bois, Kwame Ture, our very own Mama Africa, Miriam Makeba, and your beloved and abundantly talented friend Hugh Masekela.

“They were not just given homes, passports and material support. They were given far more than that. They were also given hope, fortitude and courage to carry on with the fight for freedom,” said Ramaphosa, who revealed that his counterpart would honour former president the late Nelson Mandela, who would have turned 100 years old this month.

“I wish to express my profound gratitude to you, Mr President, for accepting our invitation to deliver the Nelson Mandela Memorial Lecture in Accra on 18 July 2018.”

– African News Agency (ANA)

 

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