With an estimated eight million tonnes of plastic ending up in the world’s oceans each year, the sustainability of our seas is under threat.
Global leaders have committed to turning the tide on the degradation of the world’s oceans
Acommitment by global leaders to turn the tide on the degradation of the world’s oceans has earned the praise of President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The President recently embarked on a working visit to Canada during which he participated in the G7 Leaders’ Outreach Summit.
South Africa’s participation in the two-day session, which was held under the theme “Healthy, Productive and Resilient Oceans and Seas, Coasts and Communities”, was at the invitation of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
President Ramaphosa described the summit as a success and stressed the importance of the strong political signal delivered by the G7 leaders to address issues facing the world’s oceans, including stressors such as plastic pollution, building the resilience of coasts and communities, improving the protection of the world’s oceans and ensuring sustainable use of marine resources.
He said it was important to strengthen the multilateral approach to managing ocean resources beyond national jurisdiction.
President Ramaphosa shared with other leaders South Africa’s strategy to research and develop alternatives and substitutes for single-use plastics.
These actions by South Africa are complemented by cooperative strategies to expand marine protected areas and address over-exploitation through illegal, unreported and unregulated fisheries detection and enforcement, and are supported by an integrated, shared ocean information system
as a basis for the sustainable management of the oceans and its users.
The President believes the ocean economy has the potential to create around one million jobs.
On the sidelines of the summit, President Ramaphosa held a number of bilateral engagements with Heads of State and Government from various countries including Norway, France, Germany, Vietnam, Rwanda, Kenya and the host country, Canada.
In line with President Ramaphosa’s drive to attract investment to grow the economy and create jobs, as well as reduce poverty and inequality, the President engaged with representatives of the business community in Toronto.
He welcomed the interest shown by the global business community in South Africa as an investment destination and lauded the “wonderful exchange of views” in a session he described as oversold.
He told guests at the engagement that South Africa, which sees Canada as a strategic partner, has entered a new era in which the economy is centre stage.
“Business confidence and investor sentiment is improving. Government is responding to create a dynamic and enabling business environment that will promote greater productive investment. South Africa is undertaking measures to set the economy on a new path of growth, employment and transformation.”
“We are moving swiftly to restore credibility, improve governance and implement turnaround strategies at South Africa’s state-owned enterprises,” he said.
The Presidnt added that government is working with urgency to guide the economy towards a more sustainable growth trajectory
The G7 consists of Canada, the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy. Other states, whose leaders were invited to participate in the Leaders’ Summit Outreach, included 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 Cooperation and Development also attended the session. and to restore South Africa to investment-grade status.
“We are working to significantly increase the levels of fixed investment in the economy. We know that foreign direct investment is a critical driver of economic growth for both developing and developed economies.
“It strengthens productive capacity through transfer of technology and knowledge, the creation of job opportunities, improvements in human capital and enhanced production processes. Greater capital inflows generate greater trade flows, and with it the opportunity for a country like South Africa to derive greater value from its mineral, agricultural and other resources,” said President Ramaphosa.
It is for this reason that government has embarked on an investment drive that aims to raise US$100 billion over the next five years and appointed four special envoys on investment that will meet potential investors both in South Africa and in major financial centres.
“South Africa has embarked on a new path of renewal and growth. We are hard at work to remove the constraints that have held us back and to create new opportunities for growth.
“South Africa is open for business. We anticipate a new wave of investment in our economy and in our region over the next few years,” President Ramaphosa said.
He encouraged Canadian companies to join the wave and reap the rewards of investing in a country and a continent on the rise.
President Cyril Ramaphosa with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Mkn]^Zn ]nkbg` ma^ @0 E^Z]^kl Outreach Summit.