From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
Following the devastating impact of COVID-19 on African economies, the Republic of Indonesia, has expressed its readiness to cooperate and boost economic recovery in Nigeria and other African countries.
This was even as the Republic of Indonesia expressed the desire to enhance health cooperation with Africa in the sector of telemedicine and vaccine development.
The Director General for Information and Public Diplomacy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, Ambassador Teuku Faizasyah, gave the assurance on the occasion of ‘Journalist Visit Program (JVP) 2021 with the theme: ‘Africa and Indonesia: Cooperation Overview on Infrastructure, Transport and Health Industry Webinar.’
The event which was organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, had in attendance, Ambassadors of the Republic of Indonesia in the African Region, journalists from various African countries, representatives of Indonesian State-Owned Enterprise, staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, Indonesian representatives abroad, amongst others.
Faizasyah also said it was his strong belief that stronger partnership between Indonesia and the African region was needed more than ever to overcome the current challenges and to address various risk to mitigate the future crisis.
“Therefore, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stands ready to collaborate with the state-owned enterprises, as well as the Government of the African countries in pursuing our common endeavours especially in economic sectors,” Faizasyah said.
Faizasyah further said the JVP was dedicated to journalists from the African region as Indonesia viewed Africa as a growing continent with many economic potentials.
He stated that according to the McKinsey Global Institute, the economy of the African region grew by 3.3 percent from 2010 to 2015, but continued to decline to minus 2.4 percent in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic like the rest of the countries around the world.
Faizasyah added that there was not one country immune to the devastating economic impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Bearing this in mind, Indonesia is more than ready to cooperate and boost the economic recovery in this hard time. As stated by Minister Retno Marsudi, a friend in need is a friend indeed,” Faizasyah also said.
Faizasyah noted that Indonesia and Africa have shared a long and strong historical background, adding that Indonesia and Africa also shared a common destiny that goes beyond the goals of Bandung Conference in 1955.
“Following the direction of the President of the Republic of Indonesia through G20 in 2017 in Hamburg, Indonesia is committed to transforming cooperation and ensuring sustainable economic growth in the African region. Concrete results can be seen in the implementation of the New Asian-African Partnership, Indonesia-Africa Forum (2018), and the Indonesia-Africa Infrastructure Dialogue (2019).
“On top of that, Indonesia has also established the first Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) in the African continental with Mozambique and has at least, 34 outbound investments in the region valued at around USD 5 billion.
“Indonesia also supports the acceleration of economic recovery in the African region after being hit by Typhoon Idai, by providing grants to Mozambique and Zimbabwe amounting to Rp 4.2 billion in April, 2021.
“These funds will be used to procure medicines and medical equipment for communities affected by typhoon Ida.
“Regarding COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the African region, Indonesia keeps promoting equal access of vaccines through international cooperation. For that reason, Indonesia would like to enhance health cooperation with Africa such as in the sector of telemedicine and vaccine development,” Faizasyah further said.
Earlier in his remarks, Faizasyah said since its establishment in 2007, the JVP had a focus on strengthening Indonesia’s diplomacy and cooperation through engagement with both national and international media.