Saudi Arabia is set to sign SR2 billion ($533 million) worth of agreements with African countries, the Kingdom’s finance minister has announced.
Speaking during the Saudi-Arab-African Economic Conference in Riyadh, Mohammed Al-Jadaan said the deals would be reached through the Kingdom’s Fund for Development.
The minister said the agreements would be struck with a “multitude” of countries and entities on the continent.
“Our partnership with African countries is strong and ever growing. In energy, education and agriculture amongst many others, the Kingdom considers Africa a strong investment destination and partner,” he added.
Al-Jadaan also called for the creation of an additional seat for Africa on the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund to strengthen the voice of the continent in global forums.
A number of memorandums of understanding were signed, including with:
- Nigeria in the oil and gas sector.
- Senegal, Ethopia, and Chad repsectively for cooperation in the field of energy
- Rwanda to implement the oil sustainability program initiatives.
Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy Abdulaziz bin Salman used his address to the conference to highlight how the continent needs more support to tackle global warming concerns.
“We have asked many of our colleagues in Africa if they have received any of the climate fund. I have yet to hear any who have,” he said.
The conference has brought together representatives from the financial, trade, and government sectors to discuss improving ties between Saudi Arabia and Africa.
Strengthening industrial, mining and commercial partnerships is one of the key areas of discussion, along with sustainable energy, food security, and investing in business development, infrastructure and human capital.
Trade between the Kingdom and Africa has witnessed remarkable growth during the past five years, according to the Saudi Press Agency, with non-oil exports to the continent increasing at an annual growth rate of 5.96 percent from 2018 to 2022, reaching SR31.94 billion.
Industrial and mining activities lead Saudi non-oil exports to Africa, with the chemicals and polymers sectors top, followed by packaging, building materials, and food products.
Imports from Africa came from a number of sectors, including precious metals and jewelry.