South Africa to get observer status in OIC
London, July 14, 2018 (AltAfrica)-South Africa has won support from Saudi Arabia to be accorded the observer status in the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Presidency said on Friday.
An observer status will give South Africa a number of privileges in terms of accessing developmental cooperation support, especially its financial institutions which support infrastructure development as well, presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko said as President Cyril Ramaphosa was taking a Middle East tour to lure investment.
The OIC is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations with a membership of 57 states spread over four continents. It endeavors to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony among various people of the world.
On Thursday, South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa launched his Middle East investment drive. During his visits to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, he secured pledges from the two Arab countries to invest 10 billion U.S. dollars each in the African country.
The investment will be channelled primarily toward the energy sectors to enhance energy security, create capacity and reduce cost in South Africa, Diko said.
Earlier this year, Ramaphosa announced a plan to attract 100 billion dollars in foreign investment over five years. In April he appointed a team of special envoys to go on an charm offensive around the globe to attract investment.
Ramaphosa’s visit to the Middle East was seen as an effort by the South African government to increase oil import at a time when fuel prices have reached record high in South Africa, sparking discontent among South Africans.
In early July, Ramaphosa said his government is actively seeking ways to soften the blow the recent fuel price increases have had on consumers.
South Africa imports approximately 47 percent of its oil from Saudi Arabia and regards the country as a strategic partner in the Middle East.
Ramaphosa also used his Middle East tour to discuss an upcoming investment summit and invite business and government delegations to the summit, Diko said.
South Africa is planning to host the investment summit in October to boost its global investment drive.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE were expected to be part of the investment summit.