South African President Cyril Ramaphosa arrives at Newquay airport in Cornwall on Friday evening as a guest nation to the G7 summit.

He was invited to attend the gathering of the G7 group of rich nations by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Among other things, the leaders will be discussing efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic, global trade as well as climate change.

The President is accompanied by International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor.

President Ramaphosa in the UK for the G7 Summit:

The G7 is made up of the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan.

Representatives from the European Union also attend.

This year South Korea, South Africa and Australia will attend parts of the summit. India, also an invited guest, will participate in some of the summit virtually.

The Director General of the Royal United Services Institute Karin Von Hippel says the G7’s invitation to South Africa to attend the summit is a strategic move.

” South Korea, Japan, they’re also joining… I think Prime Minister Johnson sees these countries as like-minded and really wants to get them on board with the agenda being promoted. The G7 countries need to expand further and South Africa represents an anchor in Africa in many ways and so I think getting these countries on board will really help push forward the agenda that they’re trying to set.”

-Additional reporting by Reuters