Asian-African Strategic Partnership-Setting the tone for future ties


29-April-2005

The summit grouped more than 50 heads of states and governments in Jakarta, Indonesia, in what was the 50th anniversary of the original Asia-Africa conference in Bandung.

Speaking at State House on Thursday after arriving in the country earlier in the morning, President Michel said the new agreement would “build the bridge over the Indian Ocean” to link the 54 Asian countries and 52 African countries, which would “put the framework in place” for future partnerships and growth.

Asia and Africa could no longer expect other nations to step and assist the developing world, he said.

“We have to help ourselves,” the president noted, saying Africa and Asia must pool both skills and resources for future development.

The Jakarta summit also allowed for some fruitful bilateral discussions with other country heads, President Michel said, specifically mentioning Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi.

The president added that he was also able to hold discussions with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi of Japan, a long-time partner with Seychelles in the fishing industry.

He said he wanted to bring the PM up to speed about projects in Seychelles currently under way with Japanese help.

“Japan is very keen to have more projects with African countries,” President Michel added.

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