The first Saudi- Africa Summit that is instrumental in forging stronger strategic partnership and diplomatic ties between the Middle East country and Africa kicked off on Friday, November 10 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The three-day event aims to enhance political coordination, address regional security threats, promote economic transformation through research and the local development of new energy solutions, and boost investment cooperation.
Leaders attending the summit include the presidents of Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Djibouti and Mauritania, the prime ministers of Ethiopia and Niger, and the foreign minister of Egypt among other’s.
Saudi’s Capital, Riyadh will host the economic conference activities. Some of activities include, the participation of financial, business, and investment leaders from the government and private sectors.
At the same time, it will also host trade federations, international organizations, and prominent figures in academic circles and think tanks.
Saudi Arabia currently enjoys significant trust and respect among African leaders. Many African nations consider it a linchpin for both the Arab and Islamic world.
Africa-Saudi cooperation, which was initially Hajj-centric, has over the past six decades witnessed significant diversification, covering a number of mutually beneficial areas such as sustainable development, trade, investment, education, health, sports, culture, agriculture, mining and oil and gas.
Many Countries across Europe and the Middle East have tried to consolidate Africa’s relations. Africa strategic position is viewed as an important axes for future global economy.
The Saudi-Africa summit comes as an extension of the Kingdom’s efforts to enhance economic cooperation. At the same time, the summit will enhance coordination and benefit from the available investment opportunities.
According to Saudi Minister of Finance, Jadaan, the conference aims to consolidate the foundations of the Saudi, Arab, and African partnership in several economic and investment aspects.They include achieving food security, strengthening agricultural, industrial, mining, and commercial partnerships, and concluding new alliances between African and Saudi entities.
Likewise, it also aims to create a platform for exporters and importers from both sides and to review opportunities for cooperation in the energy sector and its sustainability to enable and enhance economic growth.
The Saudi government is making broad moves to enhance investment opportunities for the Kingdom and Arab countries.
The Middle East Country has been forging diplomatic ties with the African continent since the 1970s. In 2018, Saudi deepend it’s ties after it appointed a secretary of state dedicated to African Affairs.
Last June, the Kingdom hosted the Arab-Chinese Businessmen Conference, the largest economic gathering with over 3,500 decision-makers and senior officials.
Currently, the collaboration between Saudi Arabia and Africa in developing and sustainably exploiting their combined hydrocarbon and green energy resources holds promise for meeting current and future energy demands and responding effectively to the global crisis.
Additionally, strengthening trade and investment partnerships is vital for fostering both regional and global stability.
Following the summit’s conclusion, the “Riyadh Declaration – Roadmap of Saudi-African Cooperation” was issued.
The declaration described the summit as an important historical turning point in the relations of African countries with the Kingdom.
Additionally, the declaration called for support of relief organisations. Leaders called for support during international conflicts
The Gulf nation, as part of its Vision 2030 plan to overhaul its economy. It will invest about $25 billion in Africa by the end of the decade,
The Middle East nation exports to the continent are worth $10 billion. The exports will be financed and insured to year 2030. Likewise, the Saudi Fund for Development will finance development projects worth about $5 billion.
More than 50 deals and preliminary agreements, signed during the summit. They range in different fields including tourism, energy, finance, mining and logistics among other’s.