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SA and Britain agreed to a health partnership on the second day of Ramaphosa’s state visit

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  • South Africa and the UK have agreed a new partnership in health and science during a state visit by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
  • Partnerships in vaccine production, genome sequencing and climate change should benefit both countries.
  • Ramaphosa will meet British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak later in the day.

Britain and South Africa announced a new health and science partnership on Wednesday to mark the second day of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s state visit to London, the first such official guest hosted by King Charles III.

Charles, 74, deployed traditional pomp and ceremony to welcome Ramaphosa and hosted a banquet in his honor on Tuesday.

Ramaphosa also addressed lawmakers in the House of Parliament.

Britain announced the new research collaboration on Wednesday when Ramaphosa and Charles’ brother Edward visited the Crick Institute, Europe’s largest biomedical research centre, and Kew Gardens.

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverley said partnerships in areas such as vaccine production, genome sequencing and climate change would “benefit us all”.

He added:

The UK and South Africa have shown global leadership in coming together to protect people, preventing the spread of dangerous diseases and working to stop climate change.

Ramaphosa will meet Prime Minister Rishi Sunak later in the day and attend a UK-South Africa business forum to discuss trade and investment.

South Africa is the UK’s largest trading partner in Africa.

In a speech on Tuesday, Ramaphosa emphasized the role of industrialized nations in helping other countries cut emissions and welcomed Britain’s involvement in initiatives helping South Africa decarbonise.

Britain will support genome sequencing at South Africa’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases, which has played a key role in identifying Covid-19 variants such as Beta and Omicron, to improve surveillance of antimicrobial resistance in Africa.

Kew Gardens – a botanic garden in west London – will also work with the National Biodiversity Institute of South Africa to conserve South Africa’s plant diversity.


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