President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to participate in the G7 Summit in Biarritz, France, from 25 to 26 August 2019.
The G7 is a forum of the seven countries with the world’s most industrialised and developed economies – France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada – whose government leaders meet annually to discuss important global economic, political, social and security issues.
Together, the G7 countries represent approximately 30% to 40% of global gross domestic product (GDP) and 10% of the world’s population.
The G7 Presidency, which rotates annually among its Member States, is responsible for setting the agenda of each year’s summit.
At the Summit, President Ramaphosa will participate in discussions around the theme on the reduction of social, economic, environmental inequalities prevailing around the world.
France has invited major economies with regional influence as well as strategic African partners and key representatives of civil society to build a renewed partnership and form coalitions around projects and solutions to combat inequality more effectively.
“President Macron has invited President Ramaphosa to the three working sessions that the G7 countries will host with their partners,” said the Presidency in a statement.
The first session will deal with “Freedoms within the digital world” under the G7 and four Biarritz Partners track.
The second session will be dedicated to the G7 partnership with Africa, for which G7 countries aim to define a new goal of serving development and peace throughout the continent.
The third working session, and one in which civil society will participate, will address environmental issues and more specifically the preservation of biodiversity, climate and oceans.
“In terms of climate change and the advancing shift from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy, South Africa believes the energy transition should be a just transition in which workers’ livelihoods are protected, working conditions are fair and people are re-skilled for participation in emerging industries.
“The transition to new sources of energy should also benefit all sectors of society.”
President Ramaphosa will utilise the G7 forum to champion the country’s economic agenda and particularly to promote itself as a major investment destination; further the interests of the African Union which it will chair in 2020, and collaborate with other developing countries that have been invited to participate in the 2019 G7 in order to advance Africa’s developmental agenda.
The summit is expected to produce a range of declarations that will form the basis of action plans for addressing the challenges and embracing opportunities identified during the Biarritz deliberations.
President Ramaphosa will be accompanied by International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor and Communications and Telecommunications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.