Statement delivered by Deputy Minister Mashego-Dlamini during the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Nagoya, Japan, 23 November 2019
Allow me to congratulate Japan on successfully co-hosting, with the African Union Commission, TICAD-7 in Yokohama in August this year with the successful adoption of the Yokohama Declaration and its priorities of African development premised on people, technology and innovation. Our President places great value in partnership forums with Africa such as TICAD and others.
As the G20, our priority must be overcoming poverty and inequality because uplifting the material conditions of our people is fundamental to stimulating the global economy, and thereby making the G20 relevant to the needs of our people.
The continued focus of the G20 on supporting Africa in the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development needs to be scaled up, especially considering the $2.6 trillion annual financing gap that threatens the ability of nations to realise the Sustainable Development Goals.
Full implementation of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the United Nations 2030 Agenda are critical to the socio-economic transformation of our Continent and developing countries generally. Sustainable Development should therefore continue to be at the heart of the strategic partnership between Africa and the G20.
As the incoming Chair of the African Union for 2020, South Africa’s priorities will focus on economic development, peace and security and good governance. The G20 has the great potential to partner with us in our efforts in this regard.
We appreciate the confidence that G20 Member States have shown in Africa by investing in the Continent’s infrastructure. Enhanced private sector investment to promote Africa’s sustainable economic growth and development through the Compact with Africa is now showing tangible results.
We are further pleased that under the Japanese Presidency this year, the G20 was able to adopt the Principals on Quality Infrastructure Investment that importantly contains a sustainable development dimension.
Africa’s population is young and growing and requires a labour market geared to absorb young job seekers.
We support the increased participation of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and the work done to bridge the digital gender divide including through among other, the #eskillsforgirls initiative under the G20 African Partnership.
I am pleased with the commitment expressed by G20 Leaders, most recently in Buenos Aires last year and in Osaka this year, to address the scourge of Illicit Financial Flows. This would contribute immensely to domestic resource mobilisation and enable countries to implement the 2030 Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals.
We will also assume the Chairship of the AU at the time we are also experiencing positive developments. These include the launch and the establishment of the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA); renewed efforts to end conflicts in the context of the Silencing of the Guns by 2020 and African efforts to diversify its international partnerships and broadening its scope of cooperation with various partners.
The African Continental Free Trade Area was formally launched in July 2019 and is expected to be a game changer in the regional economic development of our Continent.
The agreement aims to eliminate tariffs on intra-African trade, reduce unemployment, increase infrastructure development and eventually create a more competitive and sustainable environment for cross-border trade.
As Africa, we will work with G20 members to maximise the immense opportunities that the AfCFTA can bring for significant advances in trade relations between Africa and our partners.
Addressing the peace and security challenges in Africa remains an essential component to unlocking sustainable development on the continent. Africa has taken the lead in this regard with the African Peace and Security Architecture Roadmap 2016-2020.
It is important for the G20, and other international forums to support the leading role taken by the African Union and regional mechanisms on the continent, with the support of the UN Security Council which has the primary mandate for the maintenance of international peace and security.
On behalf of South Africa I wish to thank the Japanese Presidency for hosting a very successful G20 during 2019. We wish to thank you for successfully hosting all the various Working Groups, Ministerials and the successful Osaka Summit.
And finally as Rugby World Cup Champs for 2019-2023 we are immensely thankful to Japan for hosting the successful Championship.
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