South Africa: Ramaphosa Demonstrates Shrewd Statesmanship As He Performs a Delicate G7 Balancing Act

opinion

Media coverage of the recent G7 summit highlighted Cyril Ramaphosa's comments on Covid-19 and whether adequate vaccines will be available. Less noticed was his skilful advocacy of Africa's potential role in helping re-balance the emerging geostrategic struggles between the wealthy democracies and the leading authoritarian powers of China and Russia.

South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa showed shrewd statesmanship in discussing his unique role representing South Africa and Africa at the recent G7 summit in the UK.

Media reports rightly highlighted his comments on the Covid-19 pandemic and whether adequate vaccines will be available. More about that below.

Less noticed was Ramaphosa's skilful advocacy of Africa's potential role in helping re-balance the emerging geostrategic struggles between the wealthy democracies, represented by the G7 and European Union, and the leading authoritarian powers of China and Russia.

This was clearly the overarching goal of US president Joe Biden. On the basis of the 13 June Carbis G7 Summit Communiqué and the Nato Brussels Summit Communiqué a day later, he largely succeeded. Europe is more focused on Russia. The US sees China as the more complex overriding global challenge. And the Americans succeeded in negotiating references to challenges China...

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