South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, plans to visit Nigeria this week on a mission to expand the frontiers of its home grown businesses in other countries.
Some of the South African owned companies operating in Nigeria are MTN and Multichoice.
Ramaphosa said in a statement on Monday that he is looking forward to supporting the expansion of all South African companies during his diplomatic visit to Nigeria.
Other countries to be visited by Ramaphosa include Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal.
“As part of our economic diplomacy efforts, we are giving renewed attention to promoting trade and investment with countries on our continent.
“That is why this week I will be undertaking visits to four West African countries: Nigeria, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal.
He stated “During my visits to Nigeria, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal over the next week, we will look at how to leverage the opportunities presented by the AfCFTA to expand the footprint of South African companies into the continent and how we can better support those businesses already operating in other African countries,”.
The president added that South African businesses have a strong presence in African countries and such investments need to be explored for the corporate benefit of countries.
The diplomatic visit is coming on the backdrop of the Intra-African Trade Fair which held in Durban, South Africa in October, with Nigeria and other African countries as participants.
Ramaphosa added“It is estimated that around $36 billion in deals were concluded at the Intra-African Trade Fair, in which more than 80 South African companies participated,”.
Although issues of xenophobia had sprang up several times in his country, he said he was optimistic that his visit will strengthen bi-lateral relations with Nigeria.
“It is our hope that these upcoming visits will not only strengthen fraternal ties with our fellow countries on the continent, but that this will translate into new opportunities for South African businesses, new markets for our products and the creation of employment for our people.
“Equally, it is our hope that companies from the countries we are visiting will forge partnerships with South African companies and will find opportunities to invest and trade in South Africa,”.