Jokowi Heads to Africa for First-ever Visit

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta –¬†President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) is heading to Africa to pay working visits to four countries in the region, marking his first-ever visit to the continent as president.

The head of state announced his agenda during a press conference at the Kualanamu International Airport, North Sumatra, on Sunday, August 20, 2023.

“Today, along with a limited delegation, I am leaving for Africa to visit Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, and South Africa. This will be my first-ever presidential visit to the African region,” he remarked in a video broadcast by the Presidential Secretariat’s YouTube channel on Sunday.

President Jokowi stated that the visit to Africa was moved by the fact that Indonesia has a long historical relationship with the continent, given the country was the pioneer and host for the Asian-African Conference that took place in Bandung, West Java, in 1955.

He reiterated that the international conference played a crucial role in the formation of the Non-Aligned Movement amid the tension during the Cold War.

“I will bring the spirit of Bandung during my visit to Africa to strengthen solidarity and cooperation among the Global South countries,” he pointed out.

Jokowi then explained that his visit to Kenya and Tanzania would be a follow-up to the decision to establish their embassies in Jakarta last year.

The establishment of the two countries’ embassies serves as proof that they are committed to further intensifying cooperation with Indonesia, he said.

Furthermore, he noted that Mozambique is the first African country, with which Indonesia has inked a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA).

After paying visits to the four countries, the president is scheduled to participate in the summit event of BRICS, an alliance comprising developing countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

He will also hold several bilateral meetings with a number of state leaders on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit that will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, on August 22-24.

At the press conference, the president was accompanied by Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Arifin Tasrif, and Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung.

Meanwhile, Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi has already left for Africa earlier.

The president and his delegation will return to Indonesia on August 25.


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