Wednesday July 06, 2022

‘Pakistan proud of supporting African freedom movements’

May 27, 2022

Islamabad Foreign Minister of Pakistan Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that Africa Day celebrates the African peoples' heroic struggles for emancipation from colonial rule as well as its rich cultural heritage and immense economic potential.

Bilawal was addressing a Public Talk organised by the Institute of Strategic Studies (ISS) to celebrate Africa Day here last evening. Stalls depicting African culture were also set up on the occasion.

Bilawal said that Pakistan is proud of its role in supporting African freedom movements through political and diplomatic means. He highlighted that Africa is home to 12 of the 25 fastest-growing economies of the world. Today Africa is a powerhouse of 1.4 billion that generates a collective GDP of 2.6 trillion dollars and has become of late the world’s largest inter-trade space, he stated.

The Foreign Minister also said that Pakistan has a long and rich history of maintaining friendly relations with Africa which predates the establishment of the African Union. Pakistan extended development assistance where needed and supported key capacity-building initiatives throughout the continent. Pakistan has resolved to further enhance trade and investment which remain below potential. It is also Pakistan’s desire to cooperate with the regional economic communities in Africa, especially those lying in our closest proximity such as the East African Community and ECOWAS. Pakistan and Africa have traditionally enjoyed close defence and security cooperation including counterterrorism

He concluded by reiterating Islamabad’s firm commitment to forging a stronger partnership with Africa in all areas of mutual endeavour and reaffirmed Pakistan’s full support for the aspiration of the African people for peace, progress, and development

Gen Nadeem Raza, Chairperson, Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, stated that Africa Day represents human spirit, sacrifices, love for peace and prosperity, and a will to play a significant role in the global arena. Pakistan has made a great contribution to African peace and stability and is among the leading troop contributing countries to date - presently more than 4000 peacekeepers are deployed in various UN missions in Africa, he said.

Mohammed Karmoune, Dean of the African Corps and Ambassador of Morocco to Pakistan, said that Africa Day is a chance to reflect on the cooperation between Pakistan and the African continent and is an opportunity to explore the best means to move forward such as through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA). On the diplomatic front, he said, Pakistan has announced the opening of new embassies in Africa, and trade exchange between Africa and Pakistan reached 4.8 billion dollars. He revealed that Africans would like to see Pakistani investors engage in joint ventures in

the fields of agriculture, banking, IT, digital economy, textiles, and pharmaceuticals among other areas.