President Cyril Ramaphosa has welcomed European Union (EU) Council President, Charles Michel’s pledge that commits the European Union to supporting Africa’s efforts to achieving food security.
The pledge will also help to decrease the continent’s dependence on agricultural inputs that are exported from elsewhere in the world.
“In this regard a joint project plan was agreed to assist Africa in developing its own fertiliser production capacity. The commitment follows positive reception to President Ramaphosa’s proposal to the G7 countries at the recent G7 summit hosted in Germany, that Africa be enabled to invest in developing its fertiliser to deal with food insecurity,” the Presidency said in a statement.
President Ramaphosa hosted President Michel at his official Mahlambandlopfu residence on Tuesday.
The bilateral meeting was centred around cementing the South Africa – EU strategic partnership and discussing key trade and peace and security issues.
The South Africa-European Union (EU) Strategic Partnership functions within the framework of the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA), which was ratified in 2004.
The Presidency said that the EU is South Africa’s largest trading partner as a bloc.
“Since the adoption of the Trade, Development and Co-operation Agreement (TDCA), total trade increased from R150 billion in 2000 to R843 billion in 2021. Exports to the EU increased steadily over the years, growing from R64 billion back in 2000 to R482 billion in 2021.
“During the same period, imports from the EU also increased from R86 billion in 2000 to R361 billion in 2021,” the Presidency said.
The President has also welcomed the reflection on strengthening and growing existing bi-lateral trade ties and the commitment to resolve current and urgent trade matters particularly on the export of citrus products from South Africa to the EU.
“President Ramaphosa supported the process of further discussions to be held at Ministerial level to work out a solution that will allow for sustained trade in the citrus sub-sector,” the Presidency said.
Peace and Security
On Peace and Security, the Presidency said President Ramaphosa was encouraged by the expression of EU support to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) efforts in stabilising the security situation in Mozambique.
“South Africa, the EU and the SADC share a common obligation in ensuring lasting peace and stability in the region and the rest of Africa.”
The President further applauded the positive development of the EU-Africa partnership, which continues to flourish following the AU-EU Summit held in February 2022 in Brussels.
“The close ties have facilitated more open and practical engagements on various trade, political and peace and security matters,” the Presidency said.