Belarus seeks greater collaboration with the UN, AU and African Members States
H.E. Dmitry Kuptel, Ambassador of the Republic of Belarus in the Republic of Kenya in a courtesy visit had an exchange with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG), Ms. Hanna Tetteh.
Ambassador Kuptel expressed his country’s interest in building ‘closer cooperation with the United Nations’ in Nairobi where he is based, as well as with UNOAU, the African Union, and the host country, Ethiopia. A joint Belarus – African Union working group was established in 2016 focusing on infrastructure and in 2018, Ambassador Kuptel met with Dr. Amani Abou Zeid, the African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy. Accordingly, a second session of the joint working group will be held in Belarus – a delegation from the African Union has been invited. Ambassador Kuptel further stated that Belarus is working towards becoming a ‘reliable partner for African Union Member States’ through its ‘highly developed industry’ sector.
SRSG Tetteh briefly shared the African Union’s endeavor to harness the power of private, public partnerships to launch self-financed infrastructure projects in Africa, and also through working with financial institutions. For this to materialize however, SRSG Tetteh underscored that feasibility checks and adequate preparations should be undertaken. She added that a viable collaborative method would involve a keen look into Africa’s identified priority investment projects to connect to Belarus’ greatest strengths in the areas of infrastructural development.
Subsequently, SRSG Tetteh recommended that Ambassador Kuptel undertakes a discussion with the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa, Ms. Vera Songwe, to obtain insights on the economic landscape of the continent and countries Belarus seeks to collaborate with. SRSG Tetteh also mentioned the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement which the 2018 Chair of the African Union, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, and the African Union Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat launched in 2018 as a potential area for cooperation with African Member States and also, the partnership between the Economic Commission for Africa and the African Union. In 2018, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda was elected as Chair of the African Union. Under his tenure, regional integration by investing in air transport across the continent was prioritized as well as digital connectivity, SRSG Tetteh concluded.
Ambassador Kuptel congratulated SRSG Tetteh on her appointment and reiterated the he will continue to work towards strengthening collaboration with UNOAU, the UN, the African Union and its Member States.