During the inaugural Saudi-Africa Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, President Hakainde Hichilema highlighted Zambia’s wealth of natural and human resources, emphasizing the country’s vast potential for global partnerships in various economic sectors. The summit convened 53 African countries, aiming to foster collaboration between Saudi Arabia and Africa for social and economic advancement.
In his address, President Hichilema underlined the need for the summit to yield tangible economic and social benefits for both Africa and Saudi Arabia. He expressed gratitude to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its initiative to bolster cooperation with Africa, aligning with the continent’s efforts to engage diverse partners for mutual development.
The President emphasized Africa’s abundance of critical minerals crucial for future energy needs, as well as the continent’s untapped potential in agriculture that could significantly contribute to global food security. He also stressed the importance of investing in renewable energy, highlighting its potential for growth and the global shift toward green economies.
President Hichilema commended Saudi Arabia for its peacemaking endeavors within the Middle East and emphasized the need for lasting peace worldwide. He underscored that regional instabilities affect global economies and impede progress, drawing attention to ongoing conflicts such as those between Russia and Ukraine and the situation in Israel and Gaza. The President emphasized that resolving such conflicts is vital for global economic stability.
Hichilema reiterated Zambia’s commitment to fostering economic partnerships and attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). He highlighted Zambia’s strategic location as a land-linked country, offering potential trade and investment opportunities that could lead to job creation, particularly for the youth and women.
The President concluded his address by expressing optimism for Zambia’s economic future, assuring citizens that despite the challenges, the nation is poised for growth, and with unity and determination, brighter days are ahead.
The summit marks a significant moment for Africa and Saudi Arabia to forge alliances, utilizing shared resources and strengths for collective progress.