NEW DELHI, India, January 22, 2019/ — At the invitation of Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, His Excellency Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa will undertake a State Visit to India on 25-26 January 2019 as a State Guest of Honour for Republic Day 2019. President Ramaphosa will be accompanied by the First Lady Dr. Tshepo Motsepe, and a high level delegation including nine Ministers, senior officials of his Government and a 50-member business delegation. This is the first visit to India by President Ramaphosa as Head of State. He is the second President of South Africa after President Nelson Mandela to be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day.
President Ramaphosa will be accorded a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhawan on 25 January 2019, and Hon’ble Rashtrapatiji Shri Ram Nath Kovind will host a State Banquet in honour of the visiting President the same evening. President Ramaphosa accompanied by First Lady will pay his respects to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat whose 150th birth anniversary is being celebrated both nationally and internationally and who has a special resonance in South Africa. President Ramaphosa will have a bilateral meeting and hold delegation level talks with the Prime Minister on bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest. Prime Minister will host a lunch for the President Ramaphosa on 25 January 2019.
President Ramaphosa along with Prime Minister Modi will address the India-South Africa Business Forum on 25 January, 2019, with the objective to grow business ties between the two countries. He will also deliver the Gandhi-Mandela Freedom Lecture organized by Indian Council of World Affairs under IBSA framework as a part of the celebrations of the 15th Anniversary of IBSA.
President Ramaphosa accompanied by the First Lady, Dr. Tshepo Motsepe will witness the Republic Day parade as Guest of Honour on January 26, 2019. They will also attend the ‘At Home’ hosted by the President in the afternoon of January 26, 2019 before he departs South Africa from New Delhi.
India and South Africa enjoy a close and multifaceted strategic partnership since 1997, which is underpinned by historic, cultural and economic linkages. Several high-level visits have been exchanged in the recent past, including visit of Prime Minister for the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg. About 1.5 million Indian Origin People live in South Africa and form an enduring link. Over 150 Indian companies have invested in South Africa employing over 20,000 locals. India is among the top five trading partners of South Africa. The bilateral trade has increased to US $ 10.65 billion in 2018-19 from US $ 9.38 billion in 2017-18. Both countries have close cooperation in the areas of vocational training, capacity building etc. Both countries share a common vision on a range of global issues and closely cooperate in various multilateral fora: UN, BRICS, G-20, Commonwealth, IORA and the IBSA.
The visit is expected to further strengthen and enhance the close relationship between India and South Africa. APO Group