Saudi Gazette report
RIYADH — Saudi-African Summit, which will be held in Riyadh on Friday, will be instrumental in establishing strategic cooperation between the two sides in various political, economic, investment, security, and cultural fields, according to informed sources. This will be in a way that enhances common interests and achieves development and stability.
Saudi Arabia enjoys great trust and respect among the leaders of African countries, as it is a safety valve for the Arab and Islamic worlds, according to Dr. Khaled Manzalawi, assistant secretary general of the Arab League for political affairs. “Saudi Arabia leads a wise policy that focuses on economic and development interests,” he said.
It is noteworthy that the volume of trade exchange between Saudi Arabia and African countries reached SR74.735 billion ($20 billion) in 2023, of which exports represented SR53.071 billion ($14 billion), while imports accounted for SR21.664 billion ($5.8 billion).
As an embodiment of the Saudi pioneering role, Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman supported international and regional efforts aimed at establishing the foundations of security, stability and conflict resolution on the African continent, which resulted in the signing of the historic Jeddah Peace Agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Saudi Arabia also facilitated resumption of talks in Jeddah between the two parties involved in the conflict in Sudan, with the aim of reaching a political agreement to achieve security, stability, and prosperity for Sudan and its people. In view of the geostrategic importance between the Kingdom and the African continent, 16 joint committees, two coordination councils and 7 business councils were established, in addition to concluding more than 250 cooperation agreements in various political, economic and development fields.
Saudi Arabia also plays a pivotal role in supporting international and regional efforts aimed at establishing the foundations of security and stability, resolving conflicts, combating terrorist groups and extremism, and improving the security capabilities of African countries.
The Saudi Public Investment Fund has launched investment projects in African countries in sectors such as energy, mining, communications, and food, with a total amount of SR15 billion ($4 billion), and continues to search for new opportunities to invest in the African continent, whether directly or indirectly.
The Crown Prince attended the summit to confront the challenge of Africa’s lack of funding in Paris 2021, and his efforts during the Kingdom’s presidency of the G20 in 2020 have contributed to the launch of the G20 initiative to suspend debt service payments and joint work to address debt, which provided urgent liquidity to 73 of the poorest countries, of which 38 African countries received more than $5 billion.
Saudi investments in Africa during the past ten years amounted to SR49.5 billion ($13 billion), and the number of Saudi companies operating there reached 47 companies working in the fields of renewable energy, food and beverages, business services, financial services, and consumer products