One of the major deficits with conversations around development in South Africa is that we tend to remove ourselves from the African continent; this is according to Kgosientso Ramokgopa, Executive Mayor of the City of Tshwane.
He made the comments on the side-lines of the Gauteng Premier’s dinner with other African diplomats.
“There is very little interaction that is taking place between South Africans with their regional counterparts,” Ramokgopa added.
Ramokgopa profiling his region said, one of the unique features about the city of Tshwane was that the city was a home to many of the foreign missions, the second largest outside Washington.
“This gives us a pristine opportunity to engage with the diplomatic community so we have an appreciation of innovations and innervations these missions are making in their countries to resolve similar challenges we are called to resolve at a city level,” Ramokgopa added.
“Some of the challenges we are dealing with include traffic congestion, waste collection, policing and poverty, these are challenges shared across the region.”
Ramokgopa called for improved within regional economies which at the moment were still very low. The intra-regional trade is estimated to be around a region of ten percent which is still lower if compared to other regions.
“The intra-African trade requires our collective attention, it has a huge potential of lifting our continent as we are endowed with vast minerals,” Ramokgopa said.
He also called for involved of Small to Medium Enterprises when addressing regional expansion of African businesses into the rest of Africa.
“Some of the leading economies globally are powered by the small to medium enterprises and for us there is need to refocus on the SMEs and not just focus on the big business.”