Watch: Ramaphosa charms Liberian ex-President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Image credit: Twitter/The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa and Flickr/GovernmentZA

President Cyril Ramaphosa turned on the charm in an encounter with former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Monday.

The two met at the Financial Times Africa Summit in London, where Ramaphosa delivered a keynote address.

He shared a video of their encounter on Twitter and said he had the “joy and honour of being in the presence” of Sirleaf.

In the 30-second clip, he’s heard telling Sirleaf, “You’re looking so much younger. You’ve always been beautiful, but [now you’re] even more beautiful. You make the hearts of young men like me flutter.”

The two, along with another gentleman, shared a laugh before Ramaphosa sauntered to the stage.

The President repeated joke in the opening remarks of his keynote address, drawing laughter from the audience.

Ramaphosa and Sirleaf first met in August 2017 during the latter’s state visit to South Africa when she was still Liberian President. Ramaphosa was Deputy President at the time.

‘Invest in Africa’

Ramaphosa used his address to invite foreign investors to invest in Africa and South Africa in particular.

He cited the 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.”

ACFTA’s operational phase is set to be launched in July 2020. 54 out of 55 African countries have signed it, with many of them also ratifying it in their domestic laws.

Ramaphosa added that African countries are implementing economic reforms and taking measures to improve their ease of dong business.

Unity in Africa

He also 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.”

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