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Cyril Ramaphosa to hold bilateral talks with Ivory Coast’s Alassane Ouattara

02 December 2021 - 08:42
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa walks with Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara at Felix Houphouet Boigny International Airport in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on December 1, 2021.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa walks with Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara at Felix Houphouet Boigny International Airport in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on December 1, 2021.
Image: LUC GNAGO/Reuters

When President Cyril Ramaphosa meets Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara at State House in Abidjan on Thursday, he is expected to sign memorandums of understanding and agreements on agriculture, youth development, employment, energy and mines, petroleum and energy.

The meeting of the two heads of state is part of Ramaphosa’s four-nation tour to West Africa which will include Ghana and Senegal.

The stop in Ivory Coast follows successful bilateral talks with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, which was marked by the 10th Session of the Bi-National Commission between the two countries, the presidency said in a statement.

The country presents opportunities beyond its borders as an entry point for investment and a springboard to other countries in West Africa.

The aim of the visit is to strengthen bilateral relations, co-operation on the continental and global level and leverage for mutual benefit the opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area.

Presidency spokesperson Tyrone Seale said: “The visit comes at a time when the two countries are consolidating a list of strategic areas of co-operation across various economic and social sectors.”

He said during their bilateral meeting on the margins of the African Economies Finance Summit in May, the two presidents made a commitment and a call for a more amplified level of co-operation between their countries.

“As part of continued efforts to strengthen and solidify bilateral relations, the two countries identified 33 draft bilateral memoranda of understanding or agreement covering a wide spectrum of co-operation, and are at various stages of finalisation,” he said.

Seale added that as the largest economy in the West African Economic and Monetary Union and the third largest in the Economic Community of West African States after Nigeria and Ghana, Ivory Coast is a significant economy in the West African region.

“Ivory Coast presents opportunities beyond its borders as an entry point for investment and a springboard to other countries in West Africa,” he said.

During the two-day visit, Ramaphosa will be presented with honorary citizenship of the Autonomous District of Abidjan and Ouattara is expected to bestow on Ramaphosa the county’s distinguished Order of the Dignity of the Grand Cross.

On Friday, Ramaphosa is expected to embark on a tour of the Autonomous Port of Abidjan before addressing the Ivory Coast-SA Business Forum.

Later, the two presidents and MTN Group CEO Ralph Mupita will symbolically lay the foundation stone for the new headquarters of MTN in Ivory Coast.

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