U.S. President Joe Biden will host South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in Washington, D.C. today. Biden and Ramaphosa are expected
U.S. President Joe Biden will host South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in Washington, D.C. today.
Biden and Ramaphosa are expected to discuss objectives outlined in the new U.S. strategy towards Sub-Saharan Africa including COVID-19 recovery initiatives, climate adaptation and energy transitions and revisiting bilateral trade agreements.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine is also expected to be discussed by the U.S. in an attempt to gain support from South Africa, a regional leader, in condemning Russia.
South Africa has avoided publicly criticizing Russia, mainly because of the former Soviet Union’s support of South Africa’s anti-apartheid efforts, led by Ramaphosa’s African National Congress (ANC). As such, it is unlikely that Ramaphosa will condemn Russia anytime soon. Washington will continue to try and persuade Pretoria by highlighting the negative effects that the war has had on the South African economy.
Ramaphosa will likely steer the conversation away from the war in Ukraine to focus more on securing U.S. investment in South Africa. It is expected that the South African president will pursue an announcement of economic support from the United States in the form of an energy agreement to assist in energy transitions from fossil fuels to renewables as a means of boosting support for his electoral campaign in December.