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Africa cannot fully develop if it remains a theatre of war - Ramaphosa

The president said transformation in the continent and development would no longer be on terms imposed by others.

President Cyril Ramaphosa seen at the Financial Times Africa Summit on 14 October 2019. Picture: @PresidencyZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday said African leaders were working together to end interference, especially from countries that fuelled conflict in the continent.

Ramaphosa addressed the 6th Financial Times Africa Summit in London, which was attended by several African leaders.

The president said transformation in Africa and development would no longer be on terms imposed by others. He said the continent could not develop if it remained a theatre of war.

“It wants to see an end to outside interference, particularly from those countries that continue to fuel conflict in African countries. The continent cannot develop fully for as long as parts of Africa remain theatres of war to advance the interests of powers beyond our shores.

“Foreign money that buys the weapons that are used in theatres of war on the African continent should instead be building bridges, ports and rail lines, schools, hospitals, and clinics,” Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa said when South Africa took over the position of African Union chair, it would fast track the African Continental Free Trade Area.

“We are looking at mistakes that others have done like the European Union to learn what they are doing and not doing. Our union will be much more durable than what we are seeing,” he said.

Ramaphosa said the agreement was expected to increase intra-Africa trade from the current 15% to 25% by 2040.