Qatar’s Emir has kicked off a tour of three African nations this week with high-level meetings in Ethiopia.
This is Sheikh Tamim’s first official visit to sub-Saharan Africa, besides visiting Sudan, since he became Emir in 2013.
While in Addis Adaba on Tuesday, Sheikh Tamim and Dr. Mulatu Teshome discussed ways to collaborate on infrastructure, educational and economic issues, QNA reports.
Following his two-day visit there, the Emir headed to Kenya and then South Africa.
All three African countries have relatively small representation inside of Qatar.
According to a 2017 population report, there are 22,000 Ethiopians living in Qatar, 14,000 Kenyans and only 6,000 South Africans.
Why Qatari Emir’s Africa tour is important
Qatari daily newspapers ‘Al-Watan’ and ‘Arrayah’ underlined the ‘historic’ tour of Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani that started in the heart of Africa, including visits to the Democratic Federal Republic of Ethiopia, the Republic of Kenya, and the Republic of South Africa.
In their editorials Monday, the Qatari dailies said that the visits reflect the Emir’s insightful vision towards the promising potential of the African continent in the field of natural resources and the agricultural and economic potential in order to create a strategic partnership and enhance cooperation in various fields to achieve the common interests of the State of Qatar and these countries.
Under the headline “African Tour”, Al-Watan newspaper confirmed that the African tour of Sheikh Tamim is of a paramount importance at several levels.
The paper pointed out that Africa is the strategic depth of the Arab world and a center of gravity for Arabs and Muslims, indicating that there are ten African member states in the Arab League.
The newspaper added that Africa is well-known for its wealth and vast market for many products, which means that the trend towards Africa is not only beneficial at the political level but also at the economic level, which Africans also need to develop.
Meanwhile, Al-Watan stressed the importance of the Qatari Emir’s African tour that will started Sunday in Ethiopia, noting the two countries’ desire to start a new phase of cooperation and coordination to achieve their bilateral interests on one hand, and the interests of the region on the other hand, adding that this tour will open the doors of cooperation with the African continent.
For its part, Arrayah newspaper said that the prince’s visits to a number of African countries gain importance from the Qatari-African strategic relations and the Qatari orientation towards creating political and economic partnerships with these major countries in the continent.
The paper said that the tour aims at holding talks with the leaders and senior officials of these countries on ways to enhance and develop bilateral relations, in addition to discussing a number of issues of mutual interest and signing agreements and Memorandums of Understanding in a number of fields.
It added that the visits also reflect Bin Hamad’s insightful vision towards the promising potential of the African continent in the field of natural resources and the agricultural and economic potential, and affirm Qatar’s sincere desire to open up to these three influential countries, not only on the continent but also on the world, for its political and economic role.
Moreover, Arrayah said that the three countries that the Qatari prince is visiting have special advantages to create a strategic partnership and enhance cooperation in various fields in order to achieve the common interests of Qatar and these countries.
The newspaper noted that the wide welcome by the officials of the three African countries for Prince Tamim’s visit, came from the pioneering role played by the State of Qatar in achieving security, stability, peace and development and from the assistance it provides to many African countries, as well as its mediation role to resolve disputes peacefully.