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Tuesday, 30 May 2023 14:09

Foreign Ministry: Indonesia Wants To Increase Its Presence in Africa

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VOINews, Jakarta - Indonesia hopes to increase its presence in Africa as the continent marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), now called the African Union, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry said.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah said that in terms of foreign policy, Africa is an important part of Indonesia, and issues on the continent also concern Indonesia.

"We really hope to be part of Africa's economic growth and always hope for peace and stability in Africa," he told ANTARA during the "Africa Day" celebration in Jakarta on Monday.

Indonesia and Africa last held joint activities through the Indonesia-Africa Forum (IAF) held in Bali in 2018.

The forum is part of Indonesia's strategy to increase engagement and connectivity with African countries. Faizasyah said the Indonesia-Africa Forum is part of the Indonesian government's planning. However, he could not confirm when the second edition of the forum could be held.

Apart from the Indonesia-Africa Forum, Faizasyah said there were several other activities that had also been held between Indonesia and Africa, one of which was the Indonesia-Africa Infrastructure Forum held in 2019.

"Both are (aimed) at introducing Africa to Indonesian business people and SOEs so that our presence can really be felt and (closeness) is no longer from the political and socio-cultural aspects, but also in the aspect of economic cooperation," he said.

Meanwhile, Moroccan Ambassador to Indonesia Ouadia Benabdellah said that he hoped there would be another edition of the Indonesia-Africa Forum and the organization of the Jakarta-Africa cultural week.

"We hope to encourage greater cooperation (between Indonesia and Africa) in various fields," Benabdellah said.

"Africa Day, which is celebrated every May 25, is the day 32 African countries signed the Charter of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), now called the African Union, in 1963.

"Africa Day is also meant to celebrate the success of the African Union in the fight against colonialism and apartheid, as well as the progress the continent has made while reflecting on the common challenges facing Africa in the global arena. (VOI)

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