Thursday, June 13

A launch ceremony for the “Pakistan Africa Institute for Development and Research” (PAIDAR) is hosted by ISSI

A launch ceremony for the “Pakistan Africa Institute for Development and Research” (PAIDAR) is hosted by ISSI

A launch ceremony for the "Pakistan Africa Institute for Development and Research" (PAIDAR) is hosted by ISSI

A seminar was hosted by the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) Centre for Afghanistan, the Middle East, and Africa (CAMEA) in preparation for the launch of the Pakistan Africa Institute for Development and Research (PAIDAR). Reviving the Bandung Spirit of Afro-Asian Solidarity: Pakistan-Africa Relations was the seminar’s central theme. Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, President of PAIDAR, gave the keynote speech.

The seminar was moderated by Ms. Amina Khan, Director CAMEA. The speakers at the seminar included Ambassador Sohail Mahmood, Director General ISSI; Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, President PAIDAR;H.E. Mohammed Karmoune, Dean of the African Envoys Corps and Ambassador of Morocco;H.E. Mary Nyambura Kamau, High Commissioner of Kenya to Pakistan;H.E. Jemal Beker Abdulla, Ambassador of Ethiopia to Pakistan;Ambassador Aftab Hassan, High Commissioner of Pakistan to South Africa;Ambassador Atif Sharif Mian, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, and African Union; Ambassador Arshad Jan Pathan, High Commissioner of Pakistan to Mauratius;  Mr. Zafar Bakhtawri, Secretary General United Business Group (UBG);Dr. Bashir Bahar, Assistant Professor Department of Translation and Interpretation, International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI); Dr. Ismail Adaramola, Assistant Professor Department of Politics & International Relations, International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI); Mr. Shehryar Akbar Khan, Additional Secretary Africa, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA); Ambassador Khalid Mahmood, Chairman ISSI.

During his opening remarks, Ambassador Sohail Mahmood expressed gratitude for Senator Mushahid Husain Sayed’s dynamic and inspirational work throughout his career, particularly for his most recent initiative, PAIDAR, which aims to increase Pakistan’s attention on Africa by fostering partnerships for academic research and development. He stated it was appropriate that the “Bandung Spirit” be remembered at this launch event, which dates back to 1955 and the meeting of 29 Asian and African nations in Bandung, Indonesia, from April 18–24. He noted how the Bandung Conference influenced later attempts by the international community to promote world peace and collaboration among emerging nations. In recent years, he said, Pakistan’s overall involvement with Africa has grown. In 2019, Pakistan broadened the range of cooperation under the auspices of its “Engage Africa” strategy with the objective of augmenting its diplomatic reach throughout Africa and strengthening its economic alliance with the continent. In closing, Ambassador Sohail stated that Pakistan still finds it strategically necessary to connect with Africa on a deeper level. Creating a solid and productive alliance for wealth, advancement, and peace is a crucial objective that should be pursued with a long-term plan, a coherent policy, and a clear vision.

With 54 members of the African Union, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed highlighted the importance of Africa’s involvement in the South by stating that PAIDAR’s debut coincides with the 69th anniversary of the Bandung Conference. He emphasised Pakistan’s historical connections with Africa, which go all the way back to 1946, when Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah first established diplomatic ties with Egypt. PAIDAR aims to strengthen ties between Pakistan and Africa by facilitating business-to-business and people-to-people encounters, as Senator Mushahid explained when outlining the program’s goals. According to him, PAIDAR prioritises shared interests and encourages collaboration on issues related to commerce, energy, education, the environment, and sustainable development goals.

According to H.E. Mohammed Karmoune, the foundation of Pakistan-African ties is mutual respect, solidarity, and collaboration. Cooperation is required to establish cooperative ventures in several economic areas between Pakistan and Africa. According to him, industrial cooperation, research and technology, agriculture, and the encouragement of investments and commerce are the key drivers of progress.
According to H.E. Jemal Beker, the government of Pakistan’s “Look Africa” and “Engage Africa” policies are positive moves that have resulted in the opening of Ethiopia’s mission in Islamabad and the start of direct flights from Ethiopian airlines to Pakistan. He also emphasised prospects in a number of industries where both parties may benefit.

H.E. Mary Nyambura Kamau emphasised the historical collaboration between Pakistan and Africa, stating that it is marked by diverse cooperation at different levels, proving the durability and strength of the relationship. She emphasised the significance of actively exploring potential areas of collaboration and engaging with African Regional Economic Communities, such as ECCAS, ECOWAS, AMU, SADC, and EAC, in order to strengthen cooperation between Pakistan and Africa. She also advised Pakistan to concentrate on strengthening bilateral and regional economic cooperation through joint ventures, commerce, investment, tourism, and technology.

According to Ambassador Aftab Hassan, Pakistan and African nations have friendly and historical ties based on the “Bandung Spirit” of unity. In order to maintain long-term collaboration, he stated that it is imperative that Pakistan and African countries establish strong high-level connections and fortify institutional systems. Within this framework, he proposed doable actions to enhance diplomatic, economic, and interpersonal ties with Africa.
According to Ambassador Atif Sharif Mian, Ethiopia is one of the most powerful nations in Africa. In keeping with its “Engage Africa” strategy and in understanding of Ethiopia’s geoeconomic potential, Pakistan places a high value on its relations with the country. Additionally, the Ethiopian leadership favours improved ties with Pakistan, as seen by their choice to open the Ethiopian Mission in Islamabad in 2022.

According to Ambassador Arshad Jan Pathan, the continents of Afro-Asia own the twenty-first century. The absence of bureaucratic desire to ensure the achievement of the “Engage Africa” programme is more apparent than a lack of political will. For the policy to be successful as a whole, all parties involved—especially the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Commerce—must collaborate. Additionally, he outlined the obstacles to Pakistan’s expanded cooperation with regional platforms pertaining to Africa and suggested that PAIDAR offer suggestions for how to overcome them.
The need of investigating economic prospects and boosting the number of African and Pakistani embassies in Pakistan and Africa was emphasised by Mr. Zafar Bakhtawri. He emphasised the need for thorough investigation across several industries to promote deeper connections between Africa and Pakistan.

Drs. Ismail Adaramola and Bashir Bahar discussed the significant contribution Pakistan has made to offering African students at its institutions a high-quality education. They also emphasised the fact that they are both graduates of Pakistani institutions and currently hold the honour of teaching at their own mater.
According to Shehryar Akbar Khan, Pakistan is still dedicated to fostering harmony, prosperity, and cooperative advancement between the peoples of Pakistan and Africa under the terms of the “Engage Africa” strategy. Phase-I has been successfully completed in accordance with the policy. Pakistan intends to gradually construct its additional diplomatic posts throughout Africa. He went on to say that MOFA has processed 10 Memorandums of Understanding on the establishment of bilateral political consultations with different African nations in the previous seven months.

The introduction of PAIDAR’s official logo and a group photo marked the event’s conclusion. The event was attended by a sizable contingent of academics, experts in the field, leaders of think tanks, students, members of the Parliament, members of civil society, and media representatives.

Sub-Editor: Arslan