Saudi Gazette report
RIYADH — The “Riyadh Declaration” charts a roadmap for Saudi-African cooperation across various domains, reaffirming historical ties and strategic partnerships.
This declaration serves as the final communique after the first Saudi-African summit took place in Riyadh on Friday. The leaders express commitment to addressing regional and global issues, marking a pivotal moment in Saudi-African relations.
The Declaration underscores shared interests, mutual respect, and equality among nations, emphasizing non-interference in internal affairs. A comprehensive approach to political, security, and military cooperation, counterterrorism, and extremism is outlined, promoting regional stability. The economic front highlights historical support, trade volumes, and diverse potentials, aligning with Vision 2030 and Africa’s Agenda 2063.
Energy cooperation, environmental initiatives, and sustainable development feature prominently, with a focus on the Saudi Green initiative.
The Declaration envisions cultural, educational, and media collaboration, fostering coexistence and tolerance. It also champions women’s empowerment, family values, and preservation of cultural heritage. Support for Saudi bids to host Expo 2030 and the 2034 FIFA World Cup were acknowledged. The Kingdom’s humanitarian efforts in health, food security, and poverty reduction receive acclaim. Recommendations include the formation of working groups to advance specific agendas.
The “Riyadh Declaration” solidifies the economic partnership between Saudi Arabia and African countries, reflecting a commitment to enhance collaboration and mutual prosperity. The leaders emphasize the depth of historical relations, citing over $45 billion in development support provided by Saudi Arabia to 46 African countries over the past 50 years.
Trade relations are highlighted, with the volume reaching $45 billion in 2022. The Declaration underscores the importance of boosting efforts to further enhance trade and economic cooperation, encouraging joint investments, and diversifying intra-trade. The economic potentials of both Saudi Arabia and African countries are acknowledged, with a focus on aligning with Vision 2030 and Africa’s Agenda 2063.
A significant outcome of the Summit is the signing of more than 50 agreements and memoranda of understanding in various economic fields, including tourism, investment, finance, energy, renewable energy, mining, transportation, logistic services, agriculture, water, communications, and information technology. These agreements aim to strengthen collaboration and create avenues for economic growth.
Leaders agree to intensify cooperation in industrial and mining sectors, with an emphasis on increasing non-oil exports. The remarkable growth in trade exchange during the past five years is recognized, showcasing the potential for further economic development. The leaders also welcome Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the International Mining Conference, addressing mining activities in Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia.
In support of economic partnerships, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia plans significant investments in the African continent, with Saudi investments projected to reach about SR96 billion (over $25 billion) by 2030. The Saudi Development Fund will finance development projects on the African continent, amounting to about SR18.75 billion ($5 billion) until 2030. Additionally, exports from Saudi Arabia to the African continent will be financed until 2030, at a cost of about SR37.5 billion ($10 billion).
The Declaration underscores the importance of exploring and promoting common interests, especially in areas such as transport, logistics services, and the development of air connectivity. This multi-faceted economic partnership is poised to contribute to the growth and development of both Saudi Arabia and African countries, fostering a win-win situation for all involved.
The leaders expressed gratitude to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for hosting this historic Summit, reflecting Saudi Arabia’s leadership in regional and global affairs.