On the 13th of November, Brand South Africa partnered with the South African Embassy in Brazil to host an outreach dialogue with His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa on the sidelines of the 11th BRICS Summit in Brasilia.
The engagement took the form of a cocktail reception with African Heads of Mission accredited to the Federative Republic of Brazil, Ministers accompanying the President, senior officials and selected representatives from South African and Brazilian companies in attendance.
South African Ambassador to Brazil, H.E. Ntsiki Mashimbye, opened his doors to host the African-themed cocktail reception at his official residence. Setting the scene for the afternoon, Ambassador Mashimbye reminded guests of the annual Brazilian celebration of “Dia da Consciência Negra” or Black Consciousness Day on 20th November. A day in which the black community reclaim their African heritage and their great contribution to the country.
Welcoming the opportunity to interact with representatives from African countries based in Brazil on the margins of the 11th BRICS Summit, President Ramaphosa told guests: “We meet here as the countries of our continent that are forging an ambitious programme to fundamentally transform Africa’s fortunes. As we begin the countdown to the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area which will have far-reaching political, social, physical and international effects, we stand united”.
He further emphasized Africa’s progressive future and the need, now more than ever, for African states to trade amongst each other, and through the AfCFTA, improve access to existing markets, while forging access to new markets.
“As African nations, there has never been a better time to deepen our collaboration to ensure the African Continental Free Trade Area, our most ambitious collective venture yet, is a success. This is an opportunity to grow our economies and to use our considerable collective resources to uplift our people and improve their condition” said President Ramaphosa.
As the incoming Chair of the African Union next year, South Africa will put great emphasis on giving effect to the agreement.
Brand South Africa was delighted to have collaborated with the South African Embassy in Brazil in order to drive messaging that positions South Africa as a an investment destination of choice. This was an opportunity to enhance awareness of the nation brand identity, image, and global competitiveness.
General Manager for Global Markets, Dr. Judy Smith-Höhn, added: “When South Africa first hosted the BRICS Summit in 2013, it initiated an outreach mechanism by hosting a BRICS-African Leaders Dialogue Forum Retreat. This year was the first time since 2013 that a sitting BRICS chair opted not to convene such an outreach engagement. Brand South Africa thus welcomed the opportunity to collaborate with the Mission in Brazil to continue this tradition. These outreach dialogues have been especially significant for South Africa because of the emphasis it places on utilising its membership to such multilateral platforms to not only promote its own economic growth and development, but to also further the African agenda.”