A statement from the Presidency on Thursday confirms that President Cyril Ramaphos of South Africa will not attend the forthcoming UK-Africa Summit scheduled for Monday, 20th of January 2020.
The communication states, “The President has taken this decision to give attention to pressing domestic priorities…”
He went on to add, that “The President is further currently engaged with preparations towards South Africa’s assumption of the Chairship of the African Union at the 33rd African Union Summit on 9-10 February 2020”
African heads of states have recently come under intense criticism for their display of ‘weakness’ in constantly, answering economic forums organized by the major economies around the world. These forums many contests are meant to sustain the continued exploitation of the continent.
France-Africa Summit, India- Africa Summit, China-Africa Summit, Russia-Africa Summit and US-Africa summit among others are all organized, geared to win the trust of African leaders in maintaining the economic relationship between the continent and the rest of the world.
Trade among states in the continent remains low. In March 2018, African countries signed a landmark trade agreement, the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA), which commits countries to remove tariffs on 90 percent of goods, progressively liberalize trade in services and address a host of other non-tariff barrier but it hasn’t taken shape properly.
It remains to be seen, how beneficial such summits are to the life of the masses on the continent.