Abu Dhabi /Â WAM
On the occasion of the launch of the “UAE – Africa Friendship Day” organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, MoFAIC, under theme: “Joint Vision, Mutual Destiny”, Dr Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, has highlighted the depth of UAE – Africa ties derived from a joint vision and mutual destiny in all areas of co-operation.
Held here on Thursday at Emirates Palace, the ceremony was attended by Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance, and representatives from African countries.
The event was also attended by chairpersons of various UAE chambers of commerce, under-secretaries of the Ministry of Economy, ministersâ€™ deputies, as well as heads of political departments at MoFAIC.
Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemi, Minister of State for International Co-operation, welcomed the audience and highlighted Africaâ€™s richness in society, culture and diverse natural beauty that extends to 54 countries.
She stressed the friendship between the UAE and the African continent and recollected the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyanâ€™s first African visit to Mali in 1985, and Abu Dhabiâ€™s welcome to former South African President Nelson Mandela in 1998.
Expressing the UAEâ€™s desire to develop ties with the Africa in trade, investment and energy, she noted that it had crossed AED25 billion in 2015.
According to Al Hashemi, the UAE has also started assessing potential opportunities in Africa that could be implemented jointly with India to contribute to increasing the interaction between the emerging economies. This was discussed during the last visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to India, she added.
The UAE has worked on developing its political and diplomatic ties with Africa by opening 11 embassies in non-Arabic speaking African countries, such as Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Senegal, Mozambique, Uganda, Angola, Seychelles and Guinea, as well as visa office in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
The UAE is also exerting important efforts to enlarge the scope of cooperation with Africa, through the expansion of UAE national carriers across the continent. Emirates Airlines is playing a major role in opening up new opportunities and promoting trade and investments by making 350 weekly trips to 27 African destinations, along with Etihad Airways,
flydubai and Air Arabia.