The leaders of Saudi Arabia and African countries have affirmed their determination to develop cooperation and partnership and to lay the foundations for continental integration that charts a sustainable future for the countries and peoples of both regions.
Addressing the opening ceremony of the first Saudi-African summit in Riyadh on Friday, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the launch of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ development initiative in Africa, which seeks to implement development projects and programs in the continent with a value exceeding one billion dollars over a period of ten years.
Prince Mohammed bin Salman pledged to pump more than $25 billion in new Saudi investments into various sectors, finance and secure $10 billion in exports, provide $5 billion in additional development financing to Africa until 2030, and increase the number of Saudi diplomatic missions in the continent to more than 40 embassies.
“The Kingdom and African countries are keen to enhance cooperation in a way that contributes to establishing security and peace in the region and the world,” the Saudi Crown Prince said.
Pointing to the war on Gaza, he stated: “We condemn the military aggression witnessed in the Gaza Strip, the targeting of civilians, and the continued violations of international humanitarian law by the Israeli occupation authority. Let us stress the need to stop this war and forced displacement, and create conditions for the return of stability and the achievement of peace.”
Prince Mohammed explained that the Kingdom and African countries support “all efforts aimed at achieving security and stability.”
He added: “In this regard, we welcome the resumption of the Jeddah talks with representatives of both sides of the crisis in Sudan, and we hope that the language of dialogue will be the basis for preserving the unity of the Republic of Sudan and the security of its people.”
The Crown Prince went on to say: “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has provided more than $45 billion to support development and humanitarian projects in 54 African countries.”
He added that the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center has offered more than $450 million in aid in 46 African countries.
“We are determined to deepen relations of cooperation and partnership with African countries and develop areas of trade and integration,” Prince Mohammed said.
“From this standpoint, we are pleased to announce the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ development initiative in Africa, by launching development projects and programs with a value exceeding one billion dollars over a period of 10 years.”
For his part, Moussa Mahamat, Commissioner of the African Union, touched on the spiritual, historical, cultural, economic and commercial ties between Africa and Saudi Arabia, which he said were translated by bilateral relations between the Kingdom and a large number of members of the African Union.