South Africa and France on Friday agreed to work towards expanding research, innovation and production beyond COVID-19 to promote public health security in Africa.
The announcement was made by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa who hosted French President Emmanuel Macron for official talks in Pretoria as part of his tour of Africa.
“The severe impact of the pandemic on human health, on society and on economies has demonstrated the need for international solidarity and strengthened multilateralism in addressing global challenges,” President Ramaphosa said.
“South Africa and France have a shared interest in ensuring that multilateral efforts are effective in ending the pandemic, resuming international travel and commerce, accelerating economic recovery and strengthening public health systems.”
Macron arrived in South Africa after completing his tour of Rwanda.
Following their talks, Ramaphosa reiterated calls for unity in the fight against the pandemic, noting that “no one is safe until all of us are safe.”
Talks between the two also focused on other issues, including trade, research and development and climate change.
“We look forward to continued collaboration for the benefit of our peoples, our countries, our respective regions and the world,” said Ramaphosa.