Somaliland is asking Pakistan to extend its “Look Africa Policy Initiative to the Horn of Africa.
A delegation from Somaliland led by the Minister of Energy and Minerals Jama Mohamoud Egal and the country’s envoy to Kenya Amb Bashe Omar engaged with a host of high profile representatives from Pakistan during the inaugural Pakistan-Africa Trade Development conference in Nairobi.
The conference which was officially opened by Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta was meant to enhance trade between Pakistan and Africa nations and explore the ways and means to build trade, develop banking and transportation channels, improve engagement and connectivity and remove tariff and non-tariff barriers.
“We were happy to be part of this conference. We have talked to Pakistan delegates and asked them to look at Somaliland as one of its potential partners in trade and development,” Omar Bashe said.
He added: Somaliland is keen to develop strong trade ties with Pakistan. From this conference, we will build on our approach and market our country to their investors.”
Minister Egal said there are so many investment opportunities in Somaliland that can interest Pakistan.
Pakistan’s trade with Africa increased to $4.6 billion in the fiscal year 2018-19 due to the measures are taken by the Ministry of Commerce. The country’s trade with Africa had remained stagnant at $3 billion per year from 2012-13 to 2016-17.
However, trade volume had increased to $4.6 billion in the last fiscal year 2018-19. The main reason for the low trade volume had been a low level of engagement of Pakistan with Africa.
In order to enhance trade and increase outreach to major African economies, the Ministry of Commerce launched “Look Africa Initiative”, which envisaged various measures to enhance trade with Africa.
In 2019, the Ministry of Commerce relocated six Commercial Sections from Europe to Africa taking the total number to ten, to cover the top ten economies of Africa.
Under the “Look Africa Policy initiative”, the Ministry of Commerce has organised the Pakistan – Africa Trade Development Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, from 30-31 January 2020, which is first of its kind.
Over 100 delegates from 20 African countries attended the conference. The participating countries included Pakistan, Kenya, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Senegal, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Niger, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Mauritius, Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi.
The Advisor to Pakistan Prime Minister on Commerce and Textile Razak Dawood led the Pakistani delegation.
BY ODINDO AYIEKO