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Singapore and South Africa Partner for Digital Empowerment

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong expresses gratitude and goodwill to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa for the kind invitation and hospitality offered during his recent visit to South Africa. This visit marks a key milestone in the two countries’ bilateral relationship, expanding economic connections and fostering cooperation on a variety of fronts.

President Cyril’s 2016 visit to Singapore laid the groundwork for a stronger bilateral relationship. He emphasised his optimism for Africa’s future and invited Singapore to assist in South Africa’s development.

Recognising South Africa’s importance as one of the continent’s largest economies and a member of the G20, Singapore welcomed the opportunity to collaborate on South Africa’s growth.

According to President Cyril, the two countries have a shared goal of advancing economic growth, social development, and prosperity for their populations. They have worked together to build their bonds in this spirit.

The collaboration has given South Africa and Singapore the opportunity to discuss future-oriented areas of cooperation. This includes, among other things, collaboration in the sectors of digitalisation, communications and technology, water and sanitation, and skill development. They have also committed to expanding their scientific and technological collaboration.

Both leaders had excellent conversations about bilateral cooperation in the context of the global landscape and regional potential in Asia and Africa.

Singapore and South Africa have a comprehensive alliance that is reinforced by strong economic connections. Bilateral commerce has increased significantly, strengthening by more than 60% since 2018.

Singapore has made significant investments in South Africa. Agribusiness, urban solutions, hospitality, manufacturing, ports and logistics, and innovation and technology are just a few of the industries where Singaporean enterprises have developed a presence in South Africa.

People-to-people ties are an important part of the bilateral partnership. Direct flights between the two countries make travel and trade easier. Both countries aggressively encourage each other’s human capital development.

Over 1,000 South African officials have taken part in capacity-building programmes organised by the Singapore Cooperation Programme (SCP). The Singapore-Africa Partnership fosters tie by providing priority placement, customised courses, and postgraduate scholarships. The goal is to promote beneficial collaborations and mutual advantages.

Efforts to improve connectivity between Singapore and South Africa remain a joint priority. The signing of two bilateral cooperation Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) reflects the willingness to collaborate further.

The MOU on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) will facilitate collaboration among digital organisations, whilst the MOU on Skills Development will strengthen the exchange of experiences and best practices in education and training.

Further, collaboration among digital agencies is critical for driving digital transformation, encouraging innovation, and addressing complex societal and economic concerns. Collaboration allows agencies to capitalise on one another’s strengths, accelerate growth, and achieve higher results in the digital environment.

The sharing of information, expertise, and resources produces a positive feedback loop that benefits governments, citizens, and the larger digital ecosystem.

Singapore and South Africa have had a friendship since 1992 when Lee Kuan Yew visited South Africa. The following year, diplomatic relations were established, and President Nelson Mandela visited Singapore in 1997.

During President Mandela’s visit, a Giant Cola tree was dedicated to him as a symbol of their enduring friendship. Today, this tree stands tall, symbolising the bilateral relationship’s developing strength and depth.

Singapore’s Prime Minister emphasises his commitment to working closely with President Cyril and his cabinet to advance the bilateral partnership.

The visit strengthens the two countries’ friendship, economic cooperation, and shared ideals. As both countries look for new ways to collaborate, the future holds enormous promise for further enhancing connectivity.


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