27 May 2021
His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa will tomorrow, 28 May 2021, host His Excellency President Emmanuel Macron of the Republic of France on a State Visit at the Union Buildings.
The two Heads of State will also pay a visit to the Vaccine Production Support Initiative for Africa at the University of Pretoria.
President Macron’s first visit to South Africa is at the invitation of President Ramaphosa.
The visit aims to:
•deepen bilateral cooperation within the framework of the Strategic Partnership between South Africa and France and within
the framework of existing bilateral agreements.
The engagement also aims to deepen understanding regarding Multilateral and Global issues of mutual concern, such as the need for reform of the United Nations Security Council.
The leaders will also discuss the establishment of a predictable framework of cooperation between Africa and the United Nations and its agencies on ensuring peace and security on the African continent.
The South African ministerial delegation includes the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize, Minister of Higher Education Science and Technology Dr Blade Nzimande, Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Mr
Ebrahim Patel, and Acting Minister in the Presidency Ms Khumbudzo Ntshavheni
The Presidents will also discuss trade and investment, including technical skills training in South Africa in collaboration with the private sector.
South Africa is France’s largest trading partner in Africa, while France is South Africa’s second largest trading partner in the European Union (EU).
France is a major investor in South Africa and a significant development partner. During the 2019 South Africa Investment Conference, French companies pledged R20 billion of investment into the country.
The leaders will deliberate on climate change and peace and security on the African Continent.
The visit will focus on issues pertaining to the global response to COVID-19 and the economic, health, research and manufacturing responses to the current pandemic and beyond.
The leaders are expected to discuss post-COVID-19 recovery, including further discussions under the ACT Accelerator, a temporary World Trade Organisation intellectual property waiver and the future manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines in South Africa and the rest of the continent.
Following the programme at the Union Buildings, the leasers will proceed to the University of Pretoria where they will lead a High-Level Seminar on manufacturing vaccines in Africa.
The event will be a hybrid of a media conference and a High Level dialogue between Presidents Ramaphosa and Macron, in conversation with scientists and industry leaders.
This session will address questions such as what the experience has been in managing COVID-19 and what needs to be done to strengthen the public health system and in addressing the pandemics in Africa.
Delegates will also look at what kind of support is needed to develop the capacity of the African continent to manufacture vaccines in the short and ling term.
South Africa will articulate its campaign, shared with India, for international support and solidarity that will enhance access to vaccines and enable domestic production of life-saving pharmaceutical products.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a media pool has been arranged for both the Union Buildings and the University of Pretoria. No additional names can be added at this stage.