President Cyril Ramaphosa has spoken out against “outside interference” in Africa that advances “the interests of powers beyond our shores.”
Speaking at the Financial Times Africa Summit 2019 in London on Monday, Ramaphosa said the continent should seek “African solutions to African problems.”
“Africa wants to deal with the rest of the world on its own terms. It wants to see an end to outside interference, particularly from those countries that continue to fuel conflict in African countries,” he said.
The president added, “The continent cannot develop fully for as long as parts of Africa remain theatres of war to advance the interests of powers beyond our shores.”
He lambasted “foreign money that buys the weapons” used in African conflicts, saying this money should instead be used to build Africa’s infrastructure.
‘Invest in Africa’
Ramaphosa talked up Africa, and particularly South Africa, as an investment destination.
He cited the soon-to-be-launched African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA), which he said “will bring together into a single market 54 nations of some 1.2 billion people and a combined GDP of over $3 trillion.”
He also spoke against Africa’s “borders drawn up in the palaces of Europe,” saying ACFTA will make them “less significant.”
The president said the fact that elections have taken place or will take place in 11 African countries in 2019, including South Africa, signals the continent’s growing political stability.
African countries are implementing economic reforms and taking measures to improve their ease of dong business, he added.
Ramaphosa said South Africa’s land reform process is aimed at resolving “one of the great injustices of our colonial and apartheid history.”
Ramaphosa appealed to African countries to unite and “use our considerable collective resources to uplift our people.”
He explained, “We may come from different parts of the world, we may speak different languages and have different cultures.
“But our fortunes are intertwined. Our destinies intersect. And ultimately, our success story will be a shared one.”
Ramaphosa held other meetings on the sidelines of the Summit, including with Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.