The “Riyadh Declaration” statement was issued today at the conclusion of the Saudi-African Summit held in Riyadh, as follows:
“Riyadh Declaration – Roadmap of Saudi-African Cooperation”
Riyadh November 10, 2023
“Upon the kind invitation made by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Saudi-African Summit was convened on November 10, 2023, in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to further develop the relations between both sides across various avenues and bonds of joint cooperation and promote the strategic partnership between both sides, in appreciation of the historical ties that bring both sides together.
The leaders convening at the Summit expressed comfort and satisfaction generated by the atmosphere conducive for such a fruitful dialogue that prevailed across the summit and the consensus reached on the vision set to move forward on a whole host of current regional and international issues while emphasizing that the summit represents an important historical turning point in the relations, which the African countries and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia enjoy, the beating heart of the Islamic World, which will potentially open broader horizons for the future relations between the two sides and will further develop such relations across all fields.
In the same vein, the leaders have given a breath of fresh air and renewed their commitment to strengthening cooperation between the African countries and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, driven by the joint strategic partnership, avenues of common interests, and geographical, historical, and sociocultural ties that the African continent shares with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Equally important, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia highlighted the importance of its historical ties with the African continent and its growing interest in developing such relations with all the African countries across the political, economic, investment, commercial, development, cultural, and social fields.
In a similar vein, the leaders of the African countries paid tribute to the early support evinced by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to herald and welcome the African Union while joining the G20 as a permanent member.
They discussed developments in the situation in Palestine, expressed their deep concern regarding the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, stressed the need to stop military operations in the Palestinian territories and the need to protect civilians in accordance with international law and international humanitarian law, and stressed the importance of the role that the international community must play in putting pressure on the Israeli side to stop Israeli attacks and the forced displacement of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, which is a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law and international laws.
Moreover, they stressed the need to enable international humanitarian organizations to play their role in providing humanitarian and relief aid to the Palestinian people, including United Nations organizations, especially the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), and to support its efforts in this regard.
They stressed the necessity of ending the real cause of the conflict represented by the Israeli occupation and the importance of intensifying efforts to reach a comprehensive and just settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in accordance with the principle of the two-state solution, the Arab Peace Initiative, and the relevant international legitimacy resolutions in a way that guarantees the Palestinian people their right to establish their independent state on the borders of 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The leaders stressed that it is critically important to respect the sovereignty of countries, non-interference in their respective internal affairs, and maintain good neighborliness based on the principles of equality, mutual respect, and common interests between all the countries in accordance with international law. They also confirmed their determination to further develop cooperation and coordination in defense fields, make concerted efforts to combat terrorism and extremism in all its forms.
In addition, they discussed means of strengthening cooperation, coordinating efforts, and sharing experiences in such a manner that achieves common interests and contributes to achieving security and peace in the world, while taking all necessary measures to prevent any terrorist crimes in close cooperation among their countries and enhancing action in spreading the culture of moderation and tolerance, achieving security and peace, and combating extremism and terrorism.
They also agreed to intensify cooperation in maritime security as it is one of the factors of stability and development for countries, so as to contribute to strengthening and maintaining the safety of the maritime environment and joint action to combat organized crime, smuggling of drugs, and psychotropic substances, money laundering and international smuggling networks.
Equally important, they also agreed to address the situation of refugees, illegal immigration, human trafficking, and maritime piracy in such a manner that contributes to the development and stability of the African countries, combating cross-border crimes in all their forms and manifestations, and enhancing such measures in such a way that achieves security and stability for the countries and their peoples.
Moreover, they highlighted the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s accession and presidency of the Focus Group on the African affairs relating to the International Coalition against the notoriously terrorist organization (DAESH), along with the United States of America, the Kingdom of Morocco, and the Republics of Italy and Niger, and its keen support for this group through a donation made at about $2 million. The conferees highly appreciated the efforts put in by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to establish the Council of Arab and African States overlooking the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
Economic, Development, Commercial, and Investment Affairs
The leaders emphasized the depth of the historical relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the African countries, as the Kingdom provided, over the course of 50 years, development support worth more than $45 billion in many vital sectors, which (46) African countries have benefited from. In a similar vein, the leaders of the African countries also paid tribute to the level of trade relations between the Kingdom and the African countries, with the volume of trade making up $ 45 billion in 2022.
Moreover, they also stressed the importance of making more efforts to further enhance trade and economic cooperation and encourage joint investments by diversifying intra-trade and strengthening relations between the economic institutions from both sides.
The leaders pointed out the diverse economic potentials of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the African countries and the opportunities provided by the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and the African Agenda 2063 to enhance cooperation in various fields, which constitute a mutual economic benefit for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the African countries.
They also stressed the importance of exploring and promoting avenues of common interests and enhancing the joint cooperation fields, such as transport and logistics services, particularly air connectivity, maritime transport, and ports as to achieve the common interests.
In a similar vein, the leaders also agreed to strengthen the economic relations between the two sides across the industrial and mining sectors and increase non-oil exports. They warmly welcomed the remarkable growth in the trade exchange between the two sides during the past five years. The two sides noted the increase in Saudi non-oil exports to Africa at an annual growth rate of 5.96% from 2018 to 2022, making up SAR31.94 billion by 2022.
Interestingly, the leaders also welcomed and heralded the participation and engagement in the International Mining Conference, held annually under the auspice of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. The said conference addresses mining activities and issues in Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia, and it is considered one of the largest mining forums at the international level, where the mining and industry leaders meet up.
The leaders also approved the results of the high-level economic conference held on the sidelines of the Summit. Of good note, more than 50 agreements and memoranda of understanding were signed in many economic fields including but not limited to tourism, investment, finance, energy, renewable energy, mining, transportation, logistic services, agriculture, water, communications, and information technology. In a similar vein, several agreements memoranda of understanding were also signed in the social fields, such as culture, human resources, social development, and sports.
Furthermore, the leaders called for strengthening the Saudi-African partnerships in energy, mining, agriculture, food security, financing sustainable development, supporting SMEs, developing manufacturing industries, enhancing environmental trade, and organizing periodic business meetings between exporters and importers on both sides.
The leaders also agreed to discuss means of strengthening the relations with the African countries by exploring investment areas and opportunities in light of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, as Saudi investments in the African continent will account for about SAR96 billion, i.e. more than ($25 billion).
The Saudi Development Fund will finance development projects on the African continent until 2030, at a cost of about SAR18.75 billion ($5 billion). Equally important, exports from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the African continent will also be financed and provided until 2030, at a cost of about SAR37.5 ($10 billion).
With regard to energy, the African countries emphasized the Kingdom’s pioneering role, as well as the role of the OPEC+ countries in enhancing the reliability and stability of the global oil markets and stressed the need to ensure security of supply for all energy sources in the global markets.
They also expressed their aspiration to further explore areas of cooperation related to energy efficiency, electrical energy, and renewable energy, such as solar energy and wind energy, and develop projects from such sources, and seek to localize energy sector products.
The conferees also heralded the Kingdom’s launch of the SAUDI GREEN INITIATIVE and the GREEN MIDDLE EAST INITIATIVE. They expressed and evinced their support for the concerted efforts made by the Kingdom to combat climate change by implementing the circular carbon economy approach launched by the Kingdom and approved by the leaders of the G20 countries. They expressed their aspiration to implement the said two initiatives and stressed the importance of adhering to the principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement.
Furthermore, the conferees also stressed the importance of economic cooperation and joint investment between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the African countries to achieve sustainable development and benefit from human resources and global supply chains. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia encouraged Saudi companies and investors to increase quality investments in the African continent in various fields. Likewise, the Kingdom welcomed African investors and companies to benefit from the huge investment opportunities favorably provided by the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and its mega programs and projects.
Within the framework developed and adopted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to further strengthen the joint efforts with the African countries to develop the digital economy and facilitate ease of access to digital solutions, and in confirmation of the pioneering role played by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in sharing the top success stories showcased by the private sector in the digital government, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in close cooperation between the Digital Government
Authority and the Digital Cooperation Organization launched the Digital Market Initiative (IMPACT). The said initiative seeks to share a wide array of success stories with a whole host of countries in the digital government, which contributes to enhancing access to digital services, raising the quality of life, and developing the digital economy.
The Digital Market Initiative reflects the commitment displayed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to cooperate with African countries to further promote digital development, share experiences and knowledge, enhance regional cooperation, and achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Cultural, Educational, and Civilizational Communication Affairs
The leaders stressed the importance of promoting cultural coexistence and human tolerance between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the countries of the African continent. They called for strengthening cultural cooperation between the two sides in all cultural fields in such a manner that contributes to sharing experiences and preserving cultural heritage.
In addition, the leaders agreed to further organize more joint activities in sports and youth and creating joint initiatives, along with developing a joint strategic vision for the Saudi-African media cooperation in sharing news, radio, and television programs, and organizing the media sector.
The leaders also emphasized the importance of empowering women to become active members at the family and society levels, while fostering awareness among family members and society about the concept of abuse and domestic violence and its consequences, along with spreading social values and principles that enhance the cohesion and stability of the family and civil society. They also confirmed the significance of highlighting the history of the African continent and the ancient antiquities and cultures it contains and the commonalities between the two sides.
The leaders of African countries affirmed their support for the Kingdom’s candidacy to host Expo 2030 in the city of Riyadh, and for making every effort to support this candidacy.
In a similar vein, the leaders of African countries also heralded and welcomed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s candidacy to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup.
The Kingdom welcomed the support for policies, plans, and directions that would develop tourism in the African Union countries, in coordination with the United Nations World Tourism Organization and the African Union, and providing the necessary technical support to develop human capabilities and educational institutions in the African Union in such a manner as to contribute to their development and achieve the desired benefits from tourism to support comprehensive economic development in the African countries.
Humanitarian and Health Affairs
The leaders of the African countries stressed the importance of strengthening food and drug control in the countries of the African continent and increasing cooperation to further enhance sustainable development programs to further improve the standard of living for people, as well as creating new job opportunities, reducing poverty rates, providing food, and reducing hunger according to a development plan based on the areas of human and agricultural development, health and quality human services.
Taken together, the leaders approved the recommendations developed by the Summit regarding the formation of the four working groups (political, security and military affairs and combating extremism and counterterrorism group; economic, development, trade and investment affairs group; cultural, educational and civilizational communication group; humanitarian and health affairs group). The said groups will commence work within six months following the Summit conclusion to follow up on the outputs.
The leaders of the African countries also expressed appreciation and gratitude to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, and Prime Minister, for hosting the historic Summit, which reflects the leadership role undertaken by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the regional and international arenas, and the high esteem it holds and enjoys in the international community.”
- TCAS Incident Highlights Ongoing Issues In Somaliland And Somalia Airspace
- 3 Emirati Soldiers, One Bahraini Officer Killed In Attack In Somalia
- Implementing Ethio-Somaliland MoU Crucial To Bolster Regional Development, Security: HPR Standing Committee Chair
- Brexit Britain Edging Closer To Surprise Diplomatic Move To Help End Houthi Red Sea Crisis
- Eliot Wilson: Recognize Somaliland As An Independent Nation
- Joe Biden Pushed To Follow UK Lead In Recognizing Somaliland, An Essential Ally In Red Sea Houthi Crisis