Indonesia, Africa have longstanding cooperation: FM

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said Indonesia and African countries have developed cooperation since the declaration of the "Dasasila Bandung" in 1955 which is the guideline for colonized countries in fighting for independence.

"We have given attention to and played an active role for the African countries since Indonesia hosted the Asia-Africa conference in 1955," she said in a press statement released by the Foreign Ministry on Saturday.

The last discussion on "Cooperation with Africa" that took place during the special session of the G20 foreign ministers meeting held in Bonn, Germany, on Friday, had drawn much attention.

According to Marsudi, the conference was important not only for the cooperation between Indonesia and African countries, but also for the establishment of the South-South cooperation.

"Particularly for Indonesia, cooperation, both bilateral and multilateral under the frameworks of the South-South and Triangular relations, is equally significant to support the development in the African countries," she noted.

Some successful initiatives which are carried out by Indonesia to help the African people develop their countries are the "New Asia Africa Strategic Partnership" (NAASP) 2005 and the "Capacity Development Project" (CADEP) in cooperation with Japan.

Indonesia and African countries have been cooperating in a number of fields including agriculture, small and medium enterprises, women empowerment, as well as democracy practices.

In 2017, the Indonesian government will continue to count on Africa as its priority, especially in the cooperation of trade and investment in some strategic sectors such as energy and infrastructure.

As the chairman of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), Indonesia will also strengthen its maritime cooperation with Africa.

To help realize the African 2063 Agenda, Minister Marsudi has invited members of G20 to give support to African development, security, and welfare through more transparent and effective cooperation between governments and the private sector.

"Stronger relationships between G20 and Africa will not only improve common welfare but also contribute to global peace and stability," she remarked.(*)

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