French President Emmanuel Macron arrived at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Friday afternoon for his state visit to South Africa.
Macron was welcomed by his counterpart, President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was joined by a ministerial delegation.
We welcome His Excellency President @EmmanuelMacron of the French Republic to the Union Buildings at whose heart is the Women’s Monument. The monument commemorates the role of women in the struggle for our liberation, the grinding stone signifying the power of women. #FranceInSA pic.twitter.com/nzl1hfwTpV
— Cyril Ramaphosa ???????? #StaySafe (@CyrilRamaphosa) May 28, 2021
According to the Presidency, the visit is aimed at strengthening the strategic partnership between South Africa and France, which is substantiated by a number of bilateral agreements in various areas of cooperation.
The presidents will also discuss trade and investment, Covid-19 vaccines and technical skills training in South Africa in collaboration with the private sector.
South Africa is France’s largest trading partner in Africa, while France is South Africa’s second-largest trading partner in the European Union (EU).
This is Macron’s first visit to South Africa and is at the invitation of Ramaphosa.
In 2019, he indicated he wanted to come to SA but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, his trip had to be put off.
Later on Friday, Ramaphosa and Macron are expected to pay a visit to the Vaccine Production Support Initiative for Africa at the University of Pretoria where they will lead a high-level seminar on manufacturing vaccines in Africa.
The two leaders will be in conversation with scientists and industry leaders.