West Africa: President Ramaphosa Strengthens Relations With West Africa

President Cyril Ramaphosa has kicked off his working visits to three West African countries - starting in Guinea today.

"The visits take place in the context of strengthening the already existing bilateral, political and economic relations between South Africa and the sister countries," said the Presidency.

The President departed from Cape Town on Tuesday to undertake working visits to the Republic of Guinea which gets underway today followed by a visit to Ghana on Thursday.

After his visit to Ghana, President Ramaphosa is scheduled to visit the Republic of Togo on Friday.

South Africa is one of the largest foreign direct investors in Ghana, mainly in mining, communication, beverages, retail and franchising.

Several South African companies are operating in Ghana, including, inter alia, MTN, AngloGold Ashanti, Shoprite, Goldfields, Standard Bank, First National Bank, Barclays/Absa, Multichoice and South African Airways.

South African business has a significant footprint in Guinea and Togo and some of the major South African companies operating in these countries include MTN, WBHO, AngloGold Ashanti, Gateway Africa, Plan Africa Holding Guinea SARL in Guinea and UBU Holdings in Togo.

Nedbank is a shareholder in the Lomé Head-Quartered West African Bank, Eco bank.

The working visits are set to provide an opportunity for South Africa to explore new areas of cooperation with Guinea, Ghana and Togo, and to promote increased trade and investment flows to the mutual benefit of the peoples of the four countries.

"The visits will also create a platform for President Ramaphosa to engage with his counterparts on matters of mutual interest in South Africa's quest for a peaceful and prosperous continent in line with the aspirations of AU Agenda 2063 as well as the reform of the global governance system," said the Presidency.

President Ramaphosa is accompanied on the visits by the following Ministers: International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor; Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza; Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula; State Security, Ayanda Dlodlo, and Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Fikile Majola.

In view of the President's travel and Deputy President David Mabuza's concurrent working visit to Juba, South Sudan, the President has designated Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga as Acting President.

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