The Nordic countries have pledged to lobby their businesses so that they can increase investments into Africa. The undertaking was made at the closure of the 14th Africa-Nordic Foreign Ministers meeting on Friday. The meeting ran from 9 – 10th April, 2015.
This is according to a statement released by Nicky Shabolyo, press secretary at the Zambian High Commission in South Africa.
Speaking on behalf of the five Nordic countries; Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway, Ms. Wallstrom, said the group has resolved to immediately engage companies back in their respective countries so that they could invest more in Africa.
The group also observed that there was need to increase dialogue with Africa through closer and direct communication at ministerial level.
Ms. Wallstrom, however, observed that it should be realised that economic cooperation has to be based on values that were respected by both regions. She pointed out that there were companies from Nordic countries that have had investments in Africa for a long time and still wanted to stay for as long as good governance was upheld.
She disclosed that Nordic countries will also ensure that their financial support to African countries during election campaigns did not interfere with the manner in which the countries themselves would want to conduct their processes.
And speaking on behalf of Africa, Botswana Foreign Minister, Dr. Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, said Africa had hopes and dreams that she wanted to achieve and that the Nordic countries were an important ally from which to pick progressive experiences.
Dr. Venson-Moitoi said Africa was keen to tap into the technological skills of the Nordic countries.
And in responding to questions from the media, South African Foreign Minister, Ms. Maite Nkoana-Mashabane emphasised that African countries had their respective agendas that they were pursuing in order to attain democracy and other tenets of good governance. Ms. Nkoana-Mashabane said these agendas should be respected even as the countries work to accomplish objectives under other arrangements.
Representatives from Africa were foreign ministers from Angola, Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Lesotho, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia. The African Union was also represented by Commissioner for Economic Affairs, Dr. Anthony Maruping. Zambia was represented by Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister, Mr. Rayford Mbulu; Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa, His Excellency Mr. Muyeba Chikonde; Assistant Director in charge of Development Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sylvester Mundanda, and First Secretary in charge of Economic and Trade at the Zambian High Commission in South Africa, Mr. Mande Kauseni.