The Indonesian government has encouraged the African Union to participate in the Indonesia-Africa Infrastructure Dialogue (IAID) that will be held in Bali in the next two weeks on August 20 and 21, 2019.
Indonesian Ambassador to Kenya, Soehardjono Sastromihardjo, delivered the invitation during a meeting with the African Union Special Envoy of infrastructure, Raila Amolo Odinga, said a written statement issued by the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs here on Monday.
In the meeting at the Special Envoy office in Nairobi, Ambassador Soehardjono stressed the importance of the African Union’s participation in the IAID as a follow up to last year’s Indonesia-Africa Forum (IAF).
“The IAF in 2018 resulted in a business deal worth US$ 586.56 million in the sectors of strategic industries, infrastructure, financing, mining, textiles, aircraft maintenance, and commodity trade,” he said.
Hence, Ambassador Soehardjono stressed that the African Union’s participation at the IAID meeting was important to push forward the realization of the business deal in the infrastructure sector, and to drive the implementation of cross-Africa infrastructure projects.
Responding to Ambassador Soehardjono, Raila Amolo Odinga stated that the participation of the African Union in the IAID is in line with the planned development goals of the Union and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.
“The participation of related stakeholders at the IAID meeting will make a positive contribution to the implementation of the Presidential Infrastructure Champion Initiative, which focuses on the construction of toll roads, high-speed railways, fiber optic lines, open-sky systems for air transportation, and energy,” said Odinga.
The IAID is a follow-up meeting of the Indonesia-Africa Forum held in 2018. The two-day meeting is expected to be attended by 700 participants from Indonesia and representatives from all African countries and encourage cooperation between Indonesia and the African countries in the infrastructure sector.
Raila Amolo Odinga is a Kenyan politician who served as the Prime Minister of Kenya in the 2008-2013 period and was an opposition leader in 2013. He has now become a development partner of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Since October 2018, Odinga was appointed by the African Union as the Special Envoy for Infrastructure in an effort to accelerate the integration of Africa through infrastructure development, as well as to promote economic growth and sustainable development.