Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi has underlined that the G20 should be able to create a conducive environment for Africa to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs).
The statement was delivered at the second session on Africa at the G20 ministerial meeting in Matera, about 424 kilometers south of Italy’s capital city of Rome on Tuesday (June 29).
“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about three impacts on Africa, namely health, socio-economic challenges, and the widening gap between Africa and the world,” said Minister Retno in a written statement received here on Wednesday (June 30).
She added that such conditions would create long-term impacts as indirectly increasing death rate, lowering the economy, and increasing debt.
“In this regard, Indonesia emphasizes three points. First, support for Africa should be Africa-driven, and really based on their needs and priorities,” she stressed, adding that this approach is known as the principle of African solutions to address Africa’s challenges.
“I gave an example the priority that Africa needs right now is vaccination, including through the Partnership for Africa Vaccine Manufacturing Initiative,” said Retno.
She noted that the initiative, which was launched by the African Union in April 2021, responded concerns about the proportion of Africa in the total global vaccination which was only less than 2 percent.
Through that initiative, the African Union opens up opportunities for cooperation and partnerships to increase capacity in producing vaccines in the region.
“I also emphasize that since the Asian-African Conference in Bandung in 1955, the interests of Africa have always been Indonesia’s priority,” said the Indonesian FM.
Retno pointed out a number of partnerships that have been carried out between Indonesia and Africa, including tailor-made technical cooperation, consisting of more than 1,000 programs.
The cooperation with Africa will also be carried out through Indonesia-Aid.
“The second point I said in the discussion about Africa was the importance of transforming the world’s approach, from an aid approach to a partnership by making Africa part of the solution through optimizing Africa’s potentials,” she said.
In building partnerships with Africa, Indonesia organized the Indonesia-Africa Forum which resulted in business deals worth hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars, and the 2019 Indonesia-Africa Infrastructure Dialogue which resulted in infrastructure projects worth 820 million U.S. dollars.
“At the G20, Indonesia proposed that the G20 could consider such agendas as the G20-Africa Business Council or the G20 Africa Digital Expo,” Retno said.
“The last points I delivered were the importance of ensuring a conducive environment for sustainable growth in Africa, supporting climate adaptation, food security and peacebuilding,” the minister added.
Reporting by Indonesia Window