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PH spotlights ‘renewed’ focus on ties with Africa

MANILA: The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Saturday reaffirmed its push to further enhance partnership and cooperation with states in Africa as it spotlighted its ‘renewed’ focus on the region.

In his message on Africa Day, Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo acknowledged the vast opportunities with building stronger ties with the individual states of Africa.

‘Despite the geographical distance, the Philippines shares common values and aspirations with Africa, including a firm belief in democracy, human rights, and sustainable development,’ he said.

‘Acknowledging the vastness of the opportunities that Africa represents, the Department has renewed its focus on building stronger ties with individual African nations,’ he added.

Under his directive, Manalo said cooperation on various fields with bilateral partners in the region has been enhanced.

The Philippines has also intensified its presence in the African continent.

In March 2022, the DFA inaugurated its reopened embassy in Morocco, paving
the way for closer cooperation with the North African state on political consultation, people-to-people, tourism, culture, and media, among others.

The Philippine News Agency and its Moroccan counterpart, Maghreb Arabe Presse (MAP), signed a news cooperation agreement in the same year, which led to the deployment of a correspondent to Manila to monitor the growing Philippine engagements with states in Africa.

This year, Manalo said the DFA expects a number of exchange of visits by senior officials from African partners and the Philippines.

‘Together with the six resident African Embassies in the Philippines, complemented by the hard work of the seven Philippine Foreign Service Posts covering Africa, and in line with the renewed focus on Africa of our foreign policy direction, the Philippines hopes to build ever stronger bonds with our African partners,’ Manalo said.

Africa Day marks the founding of the Organization of African Unity in 1963, the precursor to the African Union.

Manalo said the Philippines
is one with the entire African continent in celebrating this occasion.

‘It is a pivotal moment in Africa’s history that symbolizes unity, solidarity, and the collective aspirations of African nations for independence and self-determination,’ he said.

‘Africa Day is a celebration of the rich tapestry of cultures, languages, and traditions that define the continent. With over 1.2 billion people and more than 3,000 ethnic groups, Africa is a testament to the beauty of diversity,’ he added.

Source: Philippines News Agency