President Hakainde Hichilema has safely returned to Zambia after his active participation in the inaugural Saudi-Africa Summit held in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The summit aimed to foster stronger economic ties between African nations and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. President Hichilema highlighted the potential for job creation and business opportunities, especially for Africa’s young population, emphasizing the importance of partnerships in unlocking Africa’s potential for development.
At the summit, African leaders collectively agreed to enhance economic relations with Saudi Arabia, particularly in industrial and mining sectors, and to increase non-oil exports. The discussions focused on the economic prospects identified in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and Africa’s Agenda 2063.
The meeting acknowledged the existing trade relations between Saudi Arabia and African countries, with the trade volume reaching $45 billion in 2022. Notably, there has been a 5.96% annual growth in Saudi non-oil exports to Africa from 2018 to 2022.
Additionally, both parties resolved to collaborate on advancing the digital economy, emphasizing the importance of streamlining digital solutions. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia showcased the success stories of the private sector in digital government initiatives and announced the launch of the Digital Market Initiative (IMPACT) in partnership with the Digital Government Authority and the Digital Cooperation Organization.
The summit, convened on November 10, 2023, was hosted by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and was instrumental in fostering a collaborative framework for economic development between Saudi Arabia and African nations.
Upon his return, President Hichilema expressed gratitude to King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for the invitation and thanked the citizens of Zambia for their ongoing support and prayers. He conveyed his commitment to strengthening Zambia’s position through global partnerships and collaboration for the nation’s benefit.