By Colleta Dewa
Johannesburg - Host of the G7 Leaders’ Summit, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, has invited South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa to the summit.
President Ramaphosa’s office confirmed the invitation saying he is set to participate in the G7 Leaders’ Summit Outreach to be held on Saturday, 9 June 2018, in Quebec, Canada.
“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.
“Participation in the G7 Leaders’ Summit Outreach signals its renewed engagement in the Group’s Outreach initiative. During the visit, it is envisaged that President Ramaphosa will engage with investors and business people in Toronto.
He will be accompanied by a business delegation from South Africa,” said the president’s office.
The summit will be held under the theme “Healthy, Productive and Resilient Oceans and Seas, Coasts and Communities”.
“The focus of the G7 Outreach meeting on ‘Healthy, Productive and Resilient Oceans and Seas, Coasts and Communities’ is in line with the goals outlined in South Africa’s National Development Plan and speaks to the country’s efforts to stimulate economic growth and job creation by, among others, unlocking the oceans economy through Operation Phakisa.
“There has been a realisation that South Africa’s long-term development goals cannot be reliant solely on land-based resources. With a sprawling coastline of 3 924km, the ocean and ocean resources form an integral part of the development mix. 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$13.6 billion (R177 billion) to the gross domestic product of the country,” added the presidency.
The presidency said South Africa seeks to achieve these goals through Operation Phakisa, 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.
“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.
On 9 June 2018, President Ramaphosa participates in a working session at Le Manoir Richelieu in La Malbaie in the Charlevoix region followed by a working lunch,” added his office in a statement.
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, World Bank, United Nations and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development will also be in attendance.