Pakistan reaffirms solidarity , partnership with Africa on “Africa Day 2020”

By John Okeke

Pakistan has joined the world community in celebrating the “Africa Day 2020” marked on 25th May every year.

Marking the landmark establishment of the African Union (then called OAU) on 25 May 1963, this Day is observed across the globe to celebrate the African nations’ heroic struggle for emancipation from colonialism, as well as the Continent’s immense cultural and civilizational contributions, its tremendous economic potential, and its impressive strides in all fields of human endeavour.

In a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs , Pakistan and made available to the Authority by Pakistan Embassy in Abuja said ,”One of the most remarkable achievements of African Union has been the conclusion last year of the historic agreement on establishing African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), geographically the largest trading bloc.”

“While commemorating AU’s 57th anniversary, we extend heartiest felicitations to the leadership and people of all fraternal African nations,” the statement said.

The statement said,” Pakistan has a long and illustrious history of friendly relations, mutual support and beneficial cooperation with African friends and partners. Historically, Pakistan has played its role in lending support to African freedom struggles from colonial rule; combating apartheid; extending humanitarian assistance, where needed; and supporting building capacity through training programmes and initiatives.

“Pakistan is also proud of its contribution to peace and security in Africa since the 1960s. Under the UN auspices, Pakistani blue helmets, including women peacekeepers, continue to play their part in peace-keeping and peace-building efforts across the Continent,” it said.

It contiued ,” in line with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s foreign policy vision, Pakistan has embarked upon a new, path-breaking “Engage Africa” Initiative toward the African Continent by strengthening political and diplomatic linkages, further deepening and broadening mutually-beneficial trade and economic ties, and expanding cultural and people-to-people exchanges. Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi is spearheading the realisation of this initiative. As part of this initiative, Pakistan’s diplomatic outreach and presence in Africa is being significantly enhanced.

“The resounding success of the first-ever Pakistan-African Trade Development Conference, convened in January 2020 in Nairobi, highlighted the untapped potential of bilateral trade and investment ties, and underscored the mutual desire to take them to a new level,” the statement said .

“As the world observes Africa Day 2020 while combating the Covid-19 pandemic, Pakistan reaffirms its full solidarity and support for the aspirations and valuable endeavours of African nations for peace, progress and prosperity. We also reiterate our abiding commitment to forging a stronger Pakistan-Africa partnership that helps advance our shared objectives and takes our fraternal ties and cooperation into a new era,” it added”

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