President Biden and President Ramaphosa Meet to Discuss Long-Standing Strategic Bilateral Relationship
President Joe Biden of the United States of America and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa met in Washington D.C. on Friday, September 16th. The highest holders of political office in their respective countries met in an effort to strengthen the ties that exist between the two countries and discuss matters that relate to both nations. Ramaphosa was welcomed to the White House, where the meeting took place, by Biden.
Ramaphosa highlighted the U.S.’s importance as a strategic partner of South Africa. “We really welcome the opportunity to be here so that we can extend those relations and get more companies to invest in South Africa to create jobs,” Ramaphosa said before the meeting began. The South African president thanked the U.S. for its continued support in the health sector, especially in more recent times with the provision of free COVID-19 vaccines during the pandemic. Biden said South Africa and the US would continue with their partnership and work in the fields of trade, climate, food security, and more.
The two leaders are said to have discussed the Just Energy Transition that will see South Africa move away from dependency on fossil fuels and toward renewable energy. One of the main discussions was how South Africa would need adequate financial support in order to make the transition an effective initiative, with a $45 million contribution planned.
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In terms of security and geopolitics, Ramaphosa and Biden deliberated over regional stability with regard to Mozambique and Russia. Mozambique has been the site of insurgency in the last few years. Ramaphosa is said to have expressed concerns against the Countering Malign Russian Activities in Africa Bill that is before U.S. Congress claiming that if the law were to be passed, it would unfairly marginalize and limit African countries from exercising their sovereignty.
They also touched on matters regarding the United Nations and multilateralism. “The absence of representation of 1.3 billion people from Africa in the United Nations Security Council remains a blight in the global democratic order,” said Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa had also met with Vice President Kamala Harris for breakfast before he met with Biden. Ramaphosa and Harris met at the Naval Observatory, a clear sign that the two countries are keen on maintaining their long-standing relationship.