The presidents of South Africa and the Ivory Coast welcomed a landmark deal Friday that was brokered in Türkiye between Russia and Ukraine to allow Ukrainian grain exports to resume.
“The flow of grains from that sea is going to be helpful to Africa and I’m particularly pleased,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a joint news conference in the nation’s capital of Pretoria with his Ivorian counterpart, Alassane Ouattara, who is on a state visit .
Ramaphosa said he was particularly pleased to hear that UN chief Antonio Guterres will be going to Turkey to sign the agreement.
“From the beginning of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, we held a view and continue to hold the view that the conflict needs to be settled and resolved through negotiation,” he said.
Speaking through an interpreter in French, Ouattara said he was equally happy with Ankara and the deal.
He said he spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and requested that Africa be considered a priority once supplies resumed because of its social economic conditions.
“We should also see this agreement as something which could signal the end of conflict. Everyone wants to see peace and everyone wants to see an end to conflict and president Ouattara and myself shared this view,’’ said Ramaphosa.
The South African leader said the Russia-Ukraine conflict should be seen as a wakeup call for Africa which depends on fertilizers and grains from those countries.
Ramaphosa said Africa needs to be self-reliant and produce fertilizers for food production and feed its population of more than 1 billion.