Apart from the signing of the Continental Free Trade Area agreement, the other big news was the waiver of stringent VISA requirements on Rwandans by South Africa.
Having failed to reciprocate Rwanda’s open door policy, South Africa’s move created a diplomatic spat throughout Jacob Zuma’s regime.
Now that he is gone, Cyril Ramaphosa just trashed the bad brotherly policy and said that the ministers of foreign affairs of the two countries will work on the issue and the presidents will will sign immediately.
Let us look a little about his bio. The pragmatic president who wants a good relationship over a bad one.
Cyril Ramaphosa (born November 17, 1952) is South Africa’s fifth and current President since February 15, 2018.
He followed the resignation of Jacob Zuma, having taken office following a vote of the National Assembly on February 15, 2018.
Previously an anti-apartheid activist, trade union leader, and businessman, he served as the Deputy President of South Africa from 2014 to 2018.
He was elected President of the African National Congress (ANC) at the ANC National Conference in Nasrec, South of Johannesburg in December 2017.
He is also Chairman of the National Planning Commission, which is responsible for strategic planning for the future of the country, with the goal of rallying South Africa “around a common set of objectives and priorities to drive development over the longer term”.
He has been called a skillful negotiator and strategist, who acted as the ANC’s Chief Negotiator during South Africa’s transition to democracy.
Ramaphosa built up the biggest and most powerful trade union in the country – the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).
He played a crucial role, with Roelf Meyer of the National Party, during the negotiations to bring about a peaceful end to apartheid and steer the country towards its first fully democratic elections in April 1994.
Ramaphosa was Nelson Mandela’s choice for future president.
Ramaphosa is well known as a businessman, and his estimated net worth is over R6.4 billion ($550 million) as of 2018, with 31 properties, and previously-held notable ownership in companies such as McDonald’s South Africa, chair of the board for MTN and member of the board for Lonmin. He also works for Coca-Cola Company.
Despite his credentials as an important proponent of his country’s peaceful transition to democracy, he has also been criticised for the conduct of his business interests, although he has never been indicted for illegal activity in any of these controversies.
He is a member of the Venda ethnic group and the first President of South Africa from that group.