President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa recently revealed plans to turn around the country’s economy. After assuring citizens of South Africa that the country’s economy will bounce back, he went further to assure world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly that his country is working hard towards an economic revival.
“Even as our country is going through difficult economic challenges we have made progress,” he said in his address at the UN General Assembly.
“We are reforming our economy and creating an environment that is conducive to investment, and have embarked on an investment drive to attract $100 billion dollars in the next five years,” Ramaphosa said.
He also rallied world leaders to support the African continent in its bid to end conflict, a major clog on the wheel of progress of the continent. Africa loses many lives to conflict. It also expends a lot of resources on containing violence. For example, Nigeria and Sudan were among the least peaceful countries in the world in 2017, and it cost them $156.5 billion in direct and indirect cost to contain violence. Even South Africa was reported to have one of the three largest increase in internal security spending.
“There is an urgency to the measures we must take to end conflict and war,” Ramaphosa said.
“We must accept our shared responsibility and our shared interest in ending conflict and, using the outcomes of the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit, to empower the United Nations to be a more effective instrument for mediation, peace keeping and post-conflict reconstruction.
As South Africa works to revive its economy, one of the actions the government is taking is opening up the country further for trade and tourism. He called on world leaders to also open up international trade.
“We must resist any and all efforts to undermine the multilateral approach to international trade, which is essential to the promotion of stability and predictability in the global economy.
“Our task as global leaders is to pursue the policies that are required to turn intent into implementation and mobilise the resources needed to turn implementation into impact,” Ramaphosa said, adding that the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) will fundamentally transform African economies and give rise to a new industrial age on the continent.
“With effective investment in education, improved health care, good governance and greater economic integration, Africa has the potential to develop its productive capacity on a scale and at a rate that will lift tens of millions out of poverty,” Ramaphosa said.