Less than 50 days before the Commonwealth Business Forum (CBF) comes to the UK for the first time since 1997, Cyril Ramaphosa has succeeded Jacob Zuma to become the 5th President of South Africa.
Following Jacob Zuma’s resignation, Cyril Ramaphosa was elected on 15th February 2018, unopposed, as the South African President. The Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC) has welcomed Mr Ramaphosa’s election, not just as a success for South Africa but also for the Commonwealth. Mr Ramaphosa is a long-standing supporter of the Commonwealth and the CWEIC, and co-hosted the very first Commonwealth Business Forum in Edinburgh in 1997.
Chairman of CWEIC, Lord Marland has personally written to President Ramaphosa inviting him to attend and speak at the Commonwealth Business Forum, which takes place in the days preceding CHOGM 16-18th April. CWEIC is also expecting a strong delegation of South African business leaders to attend the Forum.
South Africa is the second largest economy in Africa, after Nigeria and is the only African member of the G20. South Africa’s leaders, from both Government and business, have a significant contribution to make to the Commonwealth prosperity agenda, specifically in the agriculture, mining, energy and service sectors. There are numerous opportunities which exist in these areas for business across the Commonwealth. In particular, private sector has a role to play in helping South Africa face its current challenges.
Commenting on Mr Ramaphosa’s election, CWEIC Chairman, Lord Marland of Odstock said: ‘I want to extend my congratulations to President Ramaphosa. His leadership will be invaluable in the coming months and we stand ready to assist the President in delivering his essential economic agenda for South Africa. As a long-standing friend of the Commonwealth, I was delighted to invite the President to give a keynote speech at the Commonwealth Business Forum. This would be a unique opportunity for South Africa to demonstrate its importance in the region, and across the whole of the Commonwealth’.
Lord Mayor Charles Bowman said: ‘The City of London extends its sincerest congratulations to President Ramaphosa on his election. As a long-standing supporter of the Commonwealth, we would be thrilled to host the President at the upcoming Commonwealth Business Forum in April and for him to deliver a keynote speech.
‘Over the years Lord Mayors of the City of London have led numerous business delegations to South Africa cementing the close economic and commercial partnerships between us. I am certain that these strong and sustainable ties between us will continue to grow well into the future.’
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