Ramaphosa opens infrastructure symposium, laying path for SA beyond Covid-19

President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also African Union chairperson, presented the opening keynote address at the inaugural Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium of South Africa (SIDSSA) on Tuesday, 23 June. The conference aims spur infrastructure investment in SA and inspire similar efforts across Africa.

“South Africa, within the AU family, has been given responsibility for championing infrastructure development. It is through these objectives we will be able to attain the objectives and aspirations we have set out in Agenda 2063. This is truly a historic moment for South Africa, the continent and the world,” he said.

“The coronavirus pandemic will likely lead to the deepest global recession in the post-World War II era, possibly as deep as the Great Depression in the 1930s. This symposium is laying a path for South Africa after coronavirus, but also way into the future.

A new beginning

“It represents a new beginning for infrastructure development – a new beginning that promises inclusive growth, development, transformation and, above all, hope for a better tomorrow for all our people,” Ramaphosa said.

Over 681 delegates from 263 funding institutions across the globe attended the symposium, including African Development Bank president Akinwumi Adesina, AU commissioner for infrastructure and energy, Amani Abou-Zeid, and World Bank vice-president for infrastructure, Makhtar Diop.

“We at the bank are boldly bullish about South Africa. We need to continue to invest in critical areas, and energy is a big one. We have invested $3.1bn in the energy sector,” Adesina said.

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