Ramaphosa NHI

Ramaphosa addresses the BBC

Open SA borders for Africans to move freely and promote business – Ramaphosa

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has vowed to help open the country’s borders to allow Africans to move freely across the continent.

Ramaphosa NHI

Ramaphosa addresses the BBC

President Cyril Ramaphosa spent his Human Rights Day working. The South African president was attending a summit on the African Continental Free Trade Area. After signing a declaration, Ramaphosa declared that South Africa’s borders need to be “open”.

Speaking to journalists at the event, delivered a subtle message to all South Africans regarding their fellow Africans.

“The easy movement of people across borders and countries should never be seen in a negative sense by us as South Africans”.

“People, as they move, got something to contribute. And similarly when we move as South Africans, we move to other countries, we know that we have something to contribute, so let’s treat them like we want to be treated.”

According to Ramaphosa, Africans need to be able to move across the continent freely and promote business.

The South African president also took the time to potentially drum up support for a single currency across the continent.

“We must rid ourselves of this colonial mentality that demands we rely on other people’s currency. Perhaps the day, the hour and the moment could have arrived for us to create a single African currency.”

The trip also seemingly allowed Ramaphosa to begin to build a better relationship with Rwanda. After a Rwandan opposition leader was murdered in South Africa a few years back, diplomats were sent packing on both sides. The visa office in Rwanda was closed too, meaning Rwandans had to leave their country in order to get a visa to access South Africa.

The declaration being signed was none other than the Kigali Declaration. It signalled the commitment of African countries to move towards an era of free trade on the continent.  The actual agreement couldn’t yet be signed due to South African constitutional procedures that needed to be followed.

44 countries signed the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement in full while 43 signed the Kigali Protocol committing to working towards the changes.