Saudi Gazette report
RIYADH — Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said that Saudi Arabia considers Africa as a strong partner and investment destination in agriculture, education and energy and other major sectors. Addressing the Saudi Arab African Economic Conference in Riyadh on Thursday, he unveiled the Saudi Public Investment Fund’s plans to invest SR2 billion ($533 million) in African countries. “The African continent represents one of the priorities of the Public Investment Fund,” he said while noting that the Kingdom attaches great importance to pumping investments into many African countries in vital sectors.
The minister said that the Kingdom’s relationship with Africa is a relationship of partners with a common history. “We have established partnerships with Africa to expand in several sectors and that the Kingdom supports more than 400 projects in the African continent. The Kingdom is keen to consolidate its relations with the African continent, which is one of the most important axes for the future of the global economy,” he said.
Al-Jadaan said that within this context, the conference aims to consolidate the foundations of the Saudi, Arab and African partnership in a number of economic and investment aspects, including achieving food security, strengthening agricultural, industrial, mining and commercial partnership, and concluding new partnerships between African and Saudi entities, in addition to creating a platform for exporters and importers. They will review opportunities for cooperation in the energy sector and its sustainability to enable and enhance economic growth.
The minister pointed out that the conference seeks to provide a platform for international and regional development banks, institutions and funds whose ideas and projects can be crystallized through the dialogues and discussions that will be addressed within the conference’s activities. It will also constitute an opportunity to highlight the attractiveness of the investment environment in the Kingdom and African countries, he added.
The one-day conference witnessed the signing of several deals and memoranda of understanding. It also saw the lifting of a ban by Saudi Arabia on red meat from South Africa. Several prominent figures, decision-makers, financial, business and investment leaders from the government and private sectors, trade federations, international organizations, and officials from Saudi Arabia, Arab and African countries attended the conference. Through its seven sessions, the conference discussed a number of topics such as the role of sustainable energy partnerships and their importance in facilitating access to energy sources. The topics also included strengthening cooperation frameworks to achieve food security, investing in business development, infrastructure, human capital, industry and mining, harnessing tourism for growth, and enhancing cooperation to achieve sustainable development.