by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – SOUTH Africa is exploring investment opportunities in West Africa as part of economic recovery after the devastating impact of the coronavirus.
This week, President Cyril Ramaphosa will be undertaking visits to Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Senegal.
“These are countries with which we have strategic partnerships and are markets in which a number of South African businesses operate,” the president said on Monday.
In addition to government ministers and officials, he will be accompanied by a delegation of business people representing sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, construction, consumer goods, renewable energy, healthcare and pharmaceuticals.
Ramaphosa noted at the beginning of this year, one of the most significant milestones in the quest for African economic integration was reached when trade officially commenced under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
“This presents immense opportunity for the export of South African goods and services into the continent,” he said.
The United Nations estimates that the market created under the AfCFTA is around 1,3 billion people with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of US$3,4 trillion.
South Africa’s hosting of the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) in Durban earlier this month was part of the effort to promote greater trade between the country and others on the continent and to help realise the promise of the AfCFTA.
It is estimated that around $36 billion in deals were concluded at the trade fair, in which more than 80 South African companies participated.
During visits to West Africa, South Africa will look at how to leverage the opportunities presented by the AfCFTA to expand the footprint of South African companies into the continent.
“We will also be looking at how companies from those countries can find trade and investment opportunities here in South Africa,” Ramaphosa said.
– CAJ News