TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Indonesia established the Indonesia-Africa Forum (IAF) under the leadership of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Vice President Jusuf Kalla. The forum is the implementation of an attempt to make the political relationship between the two countries into the economic relationship.
The IAF 2018, which will be held the first time in Indonesia at Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center on April 10-11, will gather the government, businesses, and stakeholders of Indonesia and Africa.
President Jokowi instructed to transform the political relationship with Africa, which was built since Asia-Africa Conference 1955, into a real economic relationship that emphasizes the improvement of investment, technical partnership, and eliminates trade barriers. At the G20 leaders meeting in Hamburg in July 2017, Jokowi affirmed the support of Indonesia to the development of a partnership which equals to G20-Africa and the achievement of Agenda 2063 in Africa through ‘Compact with Africa’.
The IAF 2018 is a showcase and platform of a real economic partnership of Indonesia and the African countries in a form of business deals and announcement of business contracts and other concrete partnerships, as well as in the improvement of training and technical partnership to Africa. The forum also acts a strategic diplomacy program of Indonesia in 2019 which includes the Indonesia-Africa Infrastructure Dialogue event in August/September 2019.
As many as 550 participants will join the IAF 2018, including the delegations of government and entrepreneurs from 53 African countries, and panelists from the international organizations such as the African Union, UN Economic Commission for Africa and World Bank. Meanwhile, the parties from Indonesia to participate in the forum include the ministers, SOEs, Indonesian chambers of Commerce and Industry (KADIN), and entrepreneurs.
The IAF 2018 will mainly discuss the economic diplomacy to create a stronger economic partnership through innovations, dialogs, and consultations. Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister has also conducted the economic diplomacy to Africa several times by visiting several African countries with a business mission.
The foreign affairs ministry launches the hashtags #IAFbali2018 and #IndonesiaAfrica to increase people’s awareness about Indonesia’s Economic Diplomacy in Africa. “Africa is a future continent with a high economic growth and human resources, as well as strong purchasing power,” said the ministry’s expert staff for strategic issue, Ambassador Djauhari Oratmangun at an event with the theme ‘PR and Diplomacy Indonesia in Africa’ in Jakarta, March 10.
In addition to economic diplomacy, other issues highlighted at the IAF 2018 include infrastructure, energy, agriculture, technical partnership, funding facility, strategic industry, manufacture, digital economy, and connectivity. This forum is hoped to be able to create agreements in Indonesia-Africa businesses including the selling of Dirgantara Indonesia’s CN-235 aircraft in Senegal and Ivory Coast, as well as the commitment to improve technical partnership and scholarship to the African countries.