The Federal Republic of Germany is committed to supporting South Africa’s efforts towards industrialization, infrastructure development and job creation, as outlined in the economic reconstruction and recovery plan .
President Cyril Ramaphosa told the media following bilateral talks with his German counterpart, Chancellor Olaf Scholz, at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Tuesday.
The two statesmen previously engaged in a one-on-one where they discussed a number of issues of bilateral and international concern, including ways to enhance cooperation in areas such as the energy and climate change, trade and investment, and responses to COVID-19 and demand for vaccines.
Germany has been a development partner since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries and the inauguration of the Binational Commission in 1996.
It is South Africa’s second largest trading partner and, in tourism, the third largest source of arrivals abroad.
The President said they discussed ways to increase trade and investment from German companies in South Africa, but also from South African companies in Germany.
“This cooperation has taken place in various areas, including good governance and democracy building, HIV prevention, climate actions and energy,” he said.
President Ramaphosa said they also discussed the next steps of the Just Transition Partnership between South Africa, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union l ‘last year.
“This historic partnership will support our just transition to a low-carbon economy and a climate-resilient society in a way that leaves no one behind,” he said.
President Ramaphosa and Chancellor Scholz also spoke at length about supporting young people and integrating them into the workplace.
Another important area of cooperation between the two countries is that of vocational training and the more effective integration of young people into the world of work.
“We have a lot to learn from the German way of dual training and how German companies integrate training for young people into the working environment,” he said.
In turn, Chancellor Scholz said Germany was working with South Africa in the area of skills development cooperation.
Scholz agreed with President Ramaphosa that much needed to be done for young people and “if they have a chance to train and educate themselves together, that’s great progress.”
Vaccine manufacturing in Africa
President Ramaphosa commended Germany for being a reliable supporter of Africa’s efforts to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.
He expressed the country’s gratitude to Chancellor Scholz for the assistance Germany has provided not only to South Africa, but to the entire African continent.
“We also discussed the support that Germany can provide to our efforts to ensure that vaccines produced in Africa obtain a greater market share in developed countries, and that vaccines intended for African populations are purchased locally,” he said. said Ramaphosa.
Earlier, President Ramaphosa told Chancellor Scholz that vaccine production efforts in South Africa had suffered a setback as there were no buyers for vaccines produced in Africa.
“This is a matter of great concern to us and it is an area that you should also be concerned about because you have been at the forefront of helping us as a continent to move up the ladder of vaccine production capacity. We believe that vaccines destined for Africa should be produced in Africa,” he said.
For his part, Chancellor Scholz said he was happy to have helped in the manufacture of vaccines in Africa and in South Africa in particular. “We should increase investment in your country, making it easier is one of the aspects we will discuss,” he said.
War in Ukraine
During their talks, President Ramaphosa and Chancellor Scholz discussed the war in Ukraine and the need for negotiations to end the conflict.
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President Ramaphosa said he and Chancellor Scholz discussed a wide range of international issues, including the pursuit of peace and security on the African continent.
“We also discussed the conflict in Ukraine and the need for the international community to encourage dialogue and negotiation towards a peaceful resolution,” he said.
Earlier, Chancellor Scholz spoke out on the war, saying it is necessary for world peace that the war ends as soon as possible.
“We have to convince Russia that it will come out of the war and that peace has a chance for Ukraine and for all of our development,” he said.
Later today, Chancellor Scholz and his delegation will visit Sasol Square in Sandton for the launch of a South African-German consortium that will advance technological research for the production of sustainable aviation fuels.
President Ramaphosa said the launch is a historic partnership for the development of carbon-reducing technologies, including green hydrogen.