From fake news to intra-African trade: Cyril Ramaphosa's second newsletter

President Cyril Ramaphosa has issued his second newsletter.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has issued his second newsletter.
Image: GCIS

In his second newsletter, President Cyril Ramaphosa has slammed fake news on recent xenophobic attacks.

He also reflected on Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari's state visit and stressed his commitment to intra-African trade.

Fake news

According to Ramaphosa, the recent xenophobic attacks challenged SA's efforts to build stronger ties with other African countries.

“Fuelled by misinformation spread on social media, these attacks provoked much anger in different parts of the continent, leading to threats against South African businesses and diplomatic missions,” said Ramaphosa.

Buhari's state visit

Ramaphosa described the meeting as an “extremely successful visit”.

He said he welcomed the “valuable and constructive discussion” with Buhari on the attacks.

“President Buhari and I both firmly believe that the prosperity and stability of our two nations — and all other countries on the continent — requires that South Africa and Nigeria have strong relations at an economic, trade, social, political, diplomatic and people-to-people level.

“We were both clear in our condemnation of attacks against foreign nationals in South Africa, as well as reprisal actions against South African interests in Nigeria.

Ramaphosa said they agreed that South Africans in Nigeria and Nigerians in SA needed to respect and obey the laws of their host countries.

“Importantly, we agreed to set up an ‘early warning mechanism’ through which our two countries can share information, co-ordinate efforts and act to prevent any recurrence,” he said.

Intra-African trade

Ramaphosa stressed his commitment to intra-African trade, saying now was the time for a new era.

“The economies of the African continent are together growing at a rate far greater than our own, and we need to see the opportunity that such growth presents for our economy and for our people,” he said.

He admitted that South African and Nigerian businesses encountered difficulties when trying to invest and operate in each other’s countries.

“There was a clear message from the business forum that was held on the sidelines of the state visit that there is a great deal of business interest in both South Africa and Nigeria, and that we need to work harder to clear the blockages.

“We have therefore set up a joint ministerial advisory council on industry, trade and investment that will meet regularly to facilitate bilateral business and, where necessary, sort out problems,” said Ramaphosa

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