Cape Town – President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his gratitude to Nigeria for receiving him and his delegation amidst the imposition of travel bans by several countries, including some on the continent.
“We are particularly pleased that Nigeria demonstrated its commitment in terms of receiving us even in the work of Omicron. They were quite determined that this visit should take place even on a scaled-down basis… They did not want to dilute the main import of the visit and, therefore, we are delighted that through this visit, we have also deepened and strengthened the relationship (between the two countries),” said Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa said this while addressing the media at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja just before his departure to Ivory Coast.
His Excellency President @CyrilRamaphosa addresses members of the media on conclusion of his State Visit to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, facilitated by @PresidencyZA Minister Mondli Gungubele #SAinNigeria #BetterAfricaBetterWorld pic.twitter.com/O3UzHjyapY
— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) December 2, 2021
Ramaphosa, who began his four-nation West Africa visit in Nigeria on Tuesday evening, hopes his visit will result in more businesses from the region investing in the country.
He is set to visit Ivory Coast, Ghana as well as Senegal.
Several countries around the world, including Angola, Mauritius, Rwanda, and Seychelles have halted flights from South Africa in a bid to shield themselves from Omicron.
According to EWN, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said despite the scare generated by the new coronavirus variant, he and president Ramaphosa were able to hold successful meetings through fraternal cooperation and understanding.
“We appreciate that we need to do much more to achieve further integration of our two economies and take full advantage of African Continental Free Trade Agreement. Once again, I want to thank my brother president and members of the South African delegation for their visit and wonderful, friendship, co-operation and solidarity,” the report quoted Buhari as saying.
The two countries signed new memorandums of understanding on diverse topics, including women and youth development.
A statement by the presidency said that Ramaphosa’s West Africa visit, which is set to conclude on December 7, “serves to reinforce South Africa’s bilateral relations with the countries concerned and to strengthen partnerships directed at African development and co-operation in multilateral forums”.
During this visit South Africa and the partner states will explore ways to leverage the opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area for mutual benefit and with greater support for businesses conducting intra-African trade and investment.
President Ramaphosa is accompanied by a delegation of ministers and business leaders in view of growing economic relations and people-to-people interaction between South Africa and these West African countries.
Picture: Getty Images