February 1, 2023

Full remarks by United States Vice President Harris and President Ramaphosa of South Africa before bilateral meeting

United States Vice President Kamala Harris hosts President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa in Washington on September 16, 2022.
United States Vice President Kamala Harris hosts President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa in Washington on September 16, 2022.

Vice President’s Residence
Washington, D.C.

9:25 A.M. EDT

VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS:  Mr. President, welcome to the Naval Observatory. 


VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS:  It is an honor to welcome you.  And I know that you have a full day of very important discussions with the President.  And we will have a — an important discussion about many issues.  But I — I do want to thank you for the leadership that you have provided for the continent of Africa and, of course, in South Africa.

The relationship between the United States and South Africa is a very important one for many reasons, including the leadership that together we have provided on issues such as global health, on the issue of security, and, of course, the challenges that we each face with the climate crisis and the work that we will do together to address that crisis. 

So, I welcome you today.  I thank you for your leadership.  And I cannot emphasize enough how important the relationship between our countries is to the people of the United States, both in terms of our security and our prosperity.  Thank you.

PRESIDENT RAMAPHOSA:  Well, thank you very much for welcoming me, Madam Vice President.  I’m really pleased to be starting my visit to the United States with you.  And the visit really is about strengthening the relationship between South Africa and the United States, but also to express our gratitude to the United States in relation to the support the U.S. has given during the COVID challenges. 

We received considerable support as a country and as South Africa.  And as South Africa, we continue to get support on health matters from the United States for which we are grateful. 

And I’m really here also to discuss a number of issues with you: empowerment of women —


PRESIDENT RAMAPHOSA:  — human rights for women on our continent.


PRESIDENT RAMAPHOSA:  And, of course, health matters — how we can strengthen health infrastructure on our continent. And, of course, security matters as well where we believe the United States is going to play a key role as the continent faces a number of challenges at a security level.


PRESIDENT RAMAPHOSA:  So, it’s a real wonderful opportunity for me to be here with you and to visit you.  Thank you so much. 

VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS:  Well, I look forward to our day together.  So, thank you very much.

PRESIDENT RAMAPHOSA:  Thank you so much.

VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS:  And thank you to the press.  Thank you.

                               END                 9:28 A.M. EDT

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