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Saudi-Africa Summit on Africa’s Economic Development

The Saudi-African Summit took place yesterday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, at which they agreed on a Riyadh Declaration calling for an end to the Gaza war and the economic cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Africa. The meeting took on added significance as Saudi Arabia is a candidate member of the BRICS, which will take effect in January.

Saudi Arabia is deeply involved economically in Africa with total investments presently worth $75 billion. It was announced at the conference that, as part of its Vision 2030 plan to overhaul its economy, Saudi Arabia will invest another $25 billion or so in Africa by the end of the decade. Saudi exports to the African continent worth $10 billion will be financed and insured through 2030, and the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) will finance development projects worth about $5 billion according to the Saudi Press Agency, reported Reuters. In addition more than 50 deals and preliminary agreements were signed during the summit in fields including tourism, energy, finance, mining and logistics.

The participants decided to set up four working groups in order to improve and consolidate cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Africa. The first will be dedicated to political, security, and military issues, and the fight against extremism and terrorism; the second to economic issues, development, trade, and investment; the third to cultural exchange, education, and civilizational communication; and the fourth to the human element and health.

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