His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Tuesday met with Heads of State of six member countries of West African Economic & Monetary Union (UEMOA) participating in the inaugural West Africa Investment Forum at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai.
During the meetings, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid had exchanges on the items of the agenda of the one-day forum with President of Benin, Yayi Boni, President of Cote d’Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara, President of Senegal, Macky Sall, President of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaore, President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, President of Togo, Faure Gnassingbe, as well as with the speaker of Guinea Bissau's Parliament, Cipriano Cassama, Mali's Minister of Trade, Abdel Karim Konate.
Welcoming the heads of states and heads of the participating delegates to UAE, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed expressed his desire that the historic relations between UAE and African countries should develop at all levels and in all spheres towards a real partnership of mutual benefit and reflect positively on the lives of the peoples of UAE and African countries.
Praising the support provided by most African countries for UAE’s bid to host World Expo in Dubai in 2020, His Highness the vice president noted that the votes and support of fraternal and friendly countries, in Africa in particular, made it possible for Dubai to win the honour of hosting the mega event.
Describing UAE as an open gateway and a connection hub between Africa and the rest of the world, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid expressed his desire for opening a new page in the UAE-African relations based on common denominators between the two sides and taking into consideration the interests of peoples of all involved countries.
Emphasising that there are many common denominators between the peoples of U.A.E. and African countries, he noted that it is time that solid foundations were laid for desired relations fulfilling the higher interests of all parties.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid also reiterated that U.A.E. is putting the diverse human resources and expertise in most sectors at the disposal of the fraternal and friendly countries, and African countries, particularly African countries that are rich in natural resources, culture and labourers.
"If these elements are brought together to work for the interests of all parties, there will no longer be anything impossible for Africa, and especially if the continent enhances this potential with willingness, confidence and a true desire, it can make miracles and all of us can reach our target and fulfill the aspirations of our peoples," concluded H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.
The one-day inaugural West Africa Investment Forum was co-organised in Dubai by the West African Economic & Monetary Union (UEMOA), the West African Development Bank (BOAD) and international corporate finance and advisory firm Global Finance & Capital Limited (GFCL), in order to highlight infrastructure investment opportunities in West Africa and bring together key stakeholders for the formal announcement of a series of large-scale infrastructure developments in West African countries.