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from 22.04.2016

Andrei Kobyakov met with Chairperson of the African Union Commission

Belarus expects to build strong channels of communication with African partners, Belarus Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov said as he met with Chairperson of the African Union Commission Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in Minsk.

“We suggest discussing the inclusion of our farm machines into the state projects which are implemented in Africa and which are funded as part of the state government development programs and international technical assistance. We hope that with your support and participation, we will be able to establish strong channels of communication with African partners in order to promote the Belarusian technological potential on the continent,” Andrei Kobyakov said.

He expressed the hope that the visit of Ms Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to Minsk will be fruitful and successful. “We are confident that the visit will lay the necessary foundations so that cooperation between Belarus and the African Union Commission, the countries that you represent, would develop on the principles of respect and comprehensive partnership,” the Belarusian Prime Minister noted.

Andrei Kobyakov stressed that Belarus’ relations with African states rely on the traditions of friendship, equality and mutual respect. Belarus highly appreciates the increasing role and influence of the African Union Commission not only in Africa but throughout the world.

“We agree with the position of the African Union Commission that there is the inextricable link between security and sustainable development. Here Belarus might be a very useful partner for you,” Andrei Kobyakov said. According to him, the joint implementation of large projects is a good opportunity to strengthen cooperation. As examples he cited the successful projects to assemble MTZ tractors and MAZ trucks in Egypt and Algeria. “Other large projects are in the pipeline. These are the setting up of assembly plants for MTZ tractors in Nigeria and Ethiopia, MAZ trucks in South Africa and Ghana,” Andrei Kobyakov noted.

He noted that Belarus supplies equipment to virtually all African regions under the agriculture mechanization programs in Africa. Belarusian dump trucks, metal products, potash fertilizers are in demand in the African market. “We are ready to increase the shipments and satisfy the demand in full,” Andrei Kobyakov assured.

The Belarusian head of government stressed that Belarus is interested in supplying comfortable passenger buses, municipal vehicles, and road-building machinery to Africa. “We are ready to offer modern financial instruments and very attractive terms and conditions of sale of Belarusian machinery. These may include export credit and international leasing,” he explained.

Another area of cooperation is education. According to Andrei Kobyakov, Belarus is ready to provide training, arrange internships in such majors as agriculture, engineering, medicine, military science.

Scientific and technical cooperation is promising too. As start-up projects Andrei Kobyakov proposed the technologies for processing remote sensing data. In his view, the use of multi-functional unmanned aircraft systems developed by the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus can be a big project too.

“The use of these systems makes the protection of the state border, military intelligence, geophysical research and environmental monitoring much more efficient,” he noted.

The Prime Minister stressed that, in general, the African Union and Belarus have broad prospects for cooperation. “I invite the African Union Commission, in collaboration with the Permanent Representative of Belarus to the African Union, to prepare proposals and a list of specific projects that we might carry out together. I am confident that by joint efforts we will raise our relations to a qualitatively new level,” Andrei Kobyakov noted.

Chairperson of the African Union Commission Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma thanked Andrei Kobyakov for the meeting. “We view Belarus as a friendly country for the African continent, a friend in any weather: when the sun shines and when it rains,” she said.


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