Discussion about "African economic opportunities" in University of Al-Azhar  Indonesia, Jakarta, Wednesday (3 september 2014). (Photo: Doc. UAI)
Discussion about “African economic opportunities” in University of Al-Azhar Indonesia, Jakarta, Wednesday (3 september 2014). (Photo: Doc. UAI)

Jakarta, 9 Dzulqa’dah 1435/4 September 2014 (MINA) – The head of Research and Development Policy for Asia Pacific and Africa, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, Mohamad Hery Saripudin said that economic potential of Africa is promising for Indonesian entrepreneurs.

He said at a discussion Foreign Policy Studies Forum (FKKLN, Forum Kajian Kebijakan Luar Negeri) themed “Recent developments in economy and social of Africa, Potential and Market Opportunities” at the University of Al-Azhar Indonesia (UAI) in Jakarta, Wednesday (3 september 2014).

According to Mohamad Hery, Africa is quite attractive economically. It refers to predictions of economic growth in 2011-2015. Seven of ten countries with the fastest growing economies in the world are in Sub-Sahara of Africa countries.

The seven States are: Ethiopia (8.1%), Mozambique (7.7%), Tanzania (7.2%), Congo and Ghana (7.0%), Zambia (6.9%) and Nigeria (6 , 8%).

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“Africa is a future continent. The continent has about 30% of world energy resources reserves,” said Hery.

He added that Africa is also producer of important minerals in the world, such as: uranium (30% of world production), bauxite (8% of world production), cobalt (70% of the world production), copper (9% of the world production), gold (50% of the world production), diamond (57% of the world production) and aluminum (4% of world production).

Natural resources wealth in the black continent is very large, covering gold, gems, uranium, iron, copper, and others. Agriculture (food security) is potential market in the economic world, he added.

According to Mohamad Hery, there is still negative impression about Africa in most of Indonesian people. Generally, Africa is identical with poverty, conflict, civil war, famine, natural disasters, and so on.


Potential of 936 million inhabitants

Meanwhile, Director General / Head of Agency Planning and Development Policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Darmansjah Djumala, MA in his speech said, Africa region has a promising potential demographically and economically, with population around 936 million.

“The people of Africa need clothing, gloves, and even ihram clothes. Most of the goods are made ​​in China,” he said.

He added that if the opportunity is used well, many Indonesian products can be sold there, such as hijab fashion, batik, and others.

“There was African leader, Nelson Mandela who promoted Indonesian batik shirt,” he said.

The discussion is held with the cooperation of Center of assessment and Development Policy for Asia Pacific and Africa (Center P2K2 Aspasaf, Pusat Pengkajian dan Pengembangan Kebijakan Kawasan Asia Pasifik dan Afrika), the Agency for Assessment and Development Policy (BPPK, Badan Pengkajian dan Pengembangan Kebijakan) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS), the Brotherhood of Indonesian Muslim Journalists (PJMI, Persaudaraan Jurnalis Muslim Indonesia) and University of Al-Azhar Indonesia.

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Other speakers are Director of Market Development and Export Information Ministry of Commerce, Ari Satria, SE, MA, and Lecturer of Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, University of Indonesia, Broto Ward, S. Sos, MA as well as moderator Dr. Arisman, Executive Director of CSEAS from State Islamic University (UIN,Universitas Islam Negeri ) Syarif Hidayatullah. (L/P009/P4/P3).

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)