President Cyril Ramaphosa and President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa Strengthen Ties between South Africa and Portugal

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On June 6, 2023, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa welcomed his Portuguese counterpart, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, to South Africa for his first visit to the country. The two leaders held a meeting at the Union Buildings in Pretoria and discussed various topics, including bilateral relations, energy cooperation, and pressing global issues.

Acknowledging the Portuguese Community in South Africa

The visit coincided with Portugal Day, a significant event for the South African Portuguese community, which represents the world’s third-largest Portuguese Diaspora. President Ramaphosa acknowledged the Portuguese community’s contributions to South Africa’s diversity, culture, and national life, wishing them a happy Portugal Day.

A Long-standing Partnership between Portugal and Southern Africa

Historically, the relationship between Portugal and Southern Africa dates back centuries, transforming into a strategic partnership of cooperation and solidarity. The two nations currently collaborate in various sectors such as education, science and technology, trade, investment, and defense.

Collaboration in the Energy Sector

The leaders discussed the potential for deeper collaboration in the energy sector. Portugal is a pioneer in Europe for renewable energy deployment, making them an ideal partner for South Africa as it grapples with its energy challenges. By sharing best practices, technology transfers, and investment potential, South Africa hopes to benefit from Portugal’s expertise in renewable energy.

The Need for International Collaboration in Addressing Global Challenges

The leaders also discussed the need for international collaboration in addressing global challenges such as climate change, pandemics, and armed conflicts. In line with the Sustainable Development Goals, the two countries aim to strengthen cooperation and work together in tackling these pressing issues.

The African Continental Free Trade Area

President Ramaphosa expressed his enthusiasm for receiving visits from countries like Portugal that are committed to supporting Africa’s development and prosperity. The 60th anniversary of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity coincided with the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area, which aims to create a single continental market with a population of around 1.3 billion people and a combined GDP of approximately $3.4 trillion. This significant development will not only boost intra-African trade and investment but also open opportunities for increased trade and investments between Africa and other parts of the world.

Commitment to Rules-based Multilateralism

In conclusion, both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to rules-based multilateralism and the belief that peace and security create fertile grounds for development and mutual prosperity. President Ramaphosa’s warm welcome of President de Sousa to South Africa signifies a strengthening of ties between the two nations and a mutual dedication to working together on various global challenges. President Ramaphosa also acknowledged the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, emphasizing the importance of negotiation and dialogue in conflict resolution – a lesson South Africa learned during its transition to democracy.

A Russian-Spanish journalist and Cape Town native, channels his lifelong passion for South Africa into captivating stories for his local blog. With a diverse background and 50 years of rich experiences, Serjio's unique voice resonates with readers seeking to explore Cape Town's vibrant culture. His love for the city shines through in every piece, making Serjio the go-to source for the latest in South African adventures.

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