Africa still facing lingering economic effects from coronavirus pandemic: President Ramaphosa

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President Cyril Ramaphosa says Africa is still facing lingering economic effects from the coronavirus pandemic and has been hit hard by rising food costs linked to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

He was speaking at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Tuesday where he hosted the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Ramaphosa has also thanked Scholz for helping the country to open the COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing facility in the Eastern Cape.

Two countries to cooperate on renewable technologies:

Ramaphosa has outlined some crucial topics they have discussed.

“The Federal Republic of Germany has been a dependable partner and supporter of our efforts to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. We also discussed the support Germany can lend to our efforts to ensure that vaccines produced in Africa are given a greater market share in developed countries.”

“Scholz and I also discussed a broad range of international issues, these include a greater pursuit of peace in the African continent. We also discussed the war in Ukraine and the need for the international community to encourage dialogue and negotiation towards a ceasefire and peaceful negotiations,” explains President Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa hopes a visit by AU Chair to both countries will yield results: 

Russia-Ukraine conflict affecting Africa’s gains

Meanwhile, Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo says the Russia-Ukraine conflict is affecting Africa’s gains in fighting socio-economic challenges.

Addressing the official opening ceremony of the African Development Bank in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, President Akufo-Addo says the Russia-Ukraine conflict has made matters worse for African countries.

“We are now facing the consequences of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and food prices are going up, the crisis is going to affect African farmers.”

A critical moment as the African Development Bank Group officially opens its annual meeting in the Ghanaian capital Accra. There’s a lot at stake as Africa is facing concurrent crises fuelled by rising food prices, surging energy prices and tough financial conditions.

Another dominant issue is around just energy transition. South Africa alone requires at least $27 billion to move away from coal-fired power to renewables.

The African Development Bank Group President, Akinwumi Adesina, says they support South Africa’s journey.

“The bank is currently working with the Republic of South Africa in support of its just energy transition and we must have an affordable and secure supply of energy.”

And fears of a global recession are growing, South African Finance Minister, Enoch Godongwana, says they are also worried, however, the government will support the most vulnerable.

“You would recall since Covid-19 we have done a lot to cushion the vulnerable.”

-Additional reporting by SABC’s Khayelihle Khumalo in Accra.