President Cyril Ramaphosa will this weekend participate in the G7 Leaders’ Summit Outreach, the Presidency said on Wednesday.
The President has been invited by the host of the G7 Leaders’ Summit, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, under the theme ‘Healthy, productive and resilient oceans and seas, coasts and communities’.
The two-day session will start with a dinner for the outreach leaders on Friday and the summit will be held on Saturday in Quebec, Canada.
President Ramaphosa will also participate in a working session at Le Manoir Richelieu in La Malbaie in the Charlevoix region, followed by a working lunch.
President Ramaphosa’s participation in the G7 Leaders’ Summit Outreach coincides with his drive to attract investment to grow the economy, create jobs and address poverty and inequality in South Africa.
The focus of the G7 outreach theme on healthy and productive oceans is in line with the goals outlined in South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP). Furthermore, it speaks to South Africa’s efforts to stimulate economic growth and job creation by unlocking the oceans economy through Operation Phakisa.
South Africa has a sprawling coastline of 3 924 kilometres and government is of the view that the ocean and its resources form an integral part of the development mix.
“There has been a realization that South Africa’s long-term development goals cannot be reliant solely on land-based resources. Development of the coastal space has been largely untapped and holds the potential to add an additional one million jobs and contribute up to US$13,6bn (R177 billion) to the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country,” the Presidency said.
South Africa seeks to achieve these goals through Operation Phakisa (a Sesotho meaning “hurry up”), which has also been adopted as part of government’s economic transformation agenda.
The six focus areas identified under Operation Phakisa are Marine Transport and Manufacturing, Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration, Marine Protected Areas and Ocean Governance, Aquaculture, Marine and Coastal Tourism, and Small Harbours and Coastal Property Development.
The Presidency said South Africa remains dedicated to sustainable development in its pursuit of the oceans economy and the G7 Leaders’ Summit Outreach provides an opportunity for the country to contribute globally to the management of the oceans, seas and coastal areas within an integrated environmental, economic and social approach.
During the visit, President Ramaphosa who will be accompanied by a business delegation, will also engage with investors and business people in Toronto.
The G7 consists of Canada, the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy.
Other states whose leaders have been invited to participate in the Leaders’ Summit Outreach include Kenya, Senegal, Rwanda, Seychelles, Haiti, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Samoa, Argentina, Norway and Jamaica.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, United Nations and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will also be in attendance.