Speaking at the recent celebration of the Africa Day 2023 in Hanoi, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ha Kim Ngoc said as close and dear friends of the African people, the Vietnamese people are proud of Africa’s remarkable achievements in recent years.
The date of the 25th of May is a landmark in the history of the African Continent with the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963, which later evolved into the current African Union (AU).
Vietnamese Deputy Minister affirmed that the evolution of the OAU into the AU in 2002 was a great step forward in the history of Africa as it has represented the united voice of African nations and peoples in developing a strong and wealthy continent.
Deputy Minister Ha Kim Ngoc speaks at the celebration of Africa Day. (Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
It can be said that the AU is an organisation that plays an important role in maintaining peace and security in Africa because this is an important area with many resources but there are still many conflicts, disputes, and disagreements. Therefore, African issues occupy a high rate of discussions on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and have been always the great concern of Vietnam. Especially, former President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s attendance and speech at a high-level open debate on cooperation between the UN and the AU in October 2021 showed Vietnam’s interest in the African region as well as the AU, while also expressing Vietnam’s affection and willingness to share in difficulties and its desire to boost cooperation between Vietnam and African countries. In addition, Africa is home to many of traditional friends of Vietnam. In February 2022, the AU Commission accepted Vietnam’s proposal for official relations with the AU, initially at an Observer status.
Vietnam and Africa share historical similarities and a traditional friendship that were formed during the struggles for national liberation in the past. Deputy Minister Ngoc recalled that the traditional friendship between Vietnam and African countries was nurtured by President Ho Chi Minh and the African revolutionaries since as early as the 1950s. The people of Vietnam and the peoples of Africa have given each other friendship, respect, and mutual support.
It is pleasure that in recent years, the long-standing friendship, cooperation and partnership between Africa and Vietnam has developed strongly, through high level visits undertaken from both sides and the various cooperation agreements signed in various fields. Vietnam has become an important trading partner for many African countries and the trade turnover has reached more than 7 billion USD.
Vietnam has become an important trading partner for many African countries and the trade turnover has reached more than 7 billion USD.
According to Moroccan Ambassador to Vietnam Jamale Chouaibi, the outstanding economic achievements that Vietnam has achieved in the past three decades, including sustainable growth, huge FDI flows, agriculture productivity, and the reduction of poverty, are the motivation and inspiration for African countries. “Vietnam experience is looked upon as a model for many African countries”, he said.
He also hoped that Vietnam can increase its market share in Africa by taking advantage of the new opportunities brought about by the African Continental Free Trade Area towards creating a single continental market with a population of about 1.3 billion people and a combined GDP of approximately 3.4 billion dollars.
"Vietnam experience is looked upon as a model for many African countries."
- Moroccan Ambassador to Vietnam Jamale Chouaibi
Vietnam and Africa have been sharing experience in health care and disease control, in environment protection and disaster prevention as well as in the effective and rational use of resources which are all common challenges that Africa and Vietnam face today.
Vietnamese people enjoying traditional dishes from Algeria at the celebration of Africa Day. (Photo: KIM LINH)
For his part, Deputy Minister Ha Kim Ngoc noted, “Vietnam is willing to act as a bride for cooperation between the AU and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) with ASEAN while expressing his hope that African countries will continue to support Vietnam’s legitimate interests and give each other mutual support at multilateral forums including the United Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement”.
According to Ambassador of South Africa to Vietnam Vuyiswa Tulelo, “the peoples of Vietnam have supported and cooperated with South Africa and our relationship is not a new one but it has extended over almost 60 years”.
As a guest, Ambassador of Palestine to Vietnam Saadi Salama expressed his pleasure at the development of the relationship between Vietnam and African countries in various fields including politics, diplomacy, trade, investment, agricultural development, healthcare, peace, and economic reform.
After more than 60 years of formation and development, the long-standing friendship and solidarity between Vietnam and Africa will continue to be preserved and promoted for the interests of both sides. It is believed that with close political relations and the deep cooperation as well as the support from leaders and peoples of Vietnam and African countries, the friendship and multifaceted cooperation between two sides will be further strengthened in the near future, for peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.