Mr Franck Riester, Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, travelled for a three-day visit from 2 to 4 November to South Africa, chair of the African Union until January 2021.
This visit demonstrates France’s support and solidarity towards Africa, and follows on from the initiatives that President Macron has launched in cooperation with the South African President, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, since the beginning of the health crisis. These initiatives include setting up a collective international coordination response under the auspices of WHO and a ground-breaking mechanism for research and pre-purchase of vaccines for vulnerable countries (COVAX), supported by France and South Africa. It occurs at a time when the South African authorities have just announced a vast recovery and project financing plan for the infrastructure and sustainable development fields, in which French businesses will participate, and two weeks ahead of an international summit on investment in South Africa.
The Minister Delegate, who was accompanied by a delegation of around a dozen companies, confirmed French commitments amounting to €1 billion in the next five years in the fields of energy, construction, agriculture and services. He met with the South African ministers for trade, industry and foreign affairs, as well as several French companies located in Johannesburg and in Cape Town, where the first French Tech ecosystem in sub-Saharan Africa was created.
This trip was also an opportunity to support civil society projects and mobilize our partners to support young people and promote women, in coordination with the French development agency (AFD), the Institut Français and Business France, thereby confirming the implementation of a new government policy for Africa.