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UAE keen to boost ties with African nations: VP

Sheikh Mohammed at the Botswana pavilion.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Monday met the Presidents of Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mauritius at their respective pavilions at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Sheikh Mohammed said the UAE is keen to boost ties with African nations and enhance bilateral cooperation to advance common interests.

Sheikh Mohammed praised the ongoing development efforts in African countries and various initiatives aimed at expanding opportunities for people to benefit from projects related to natural resources in these countries.

Commending the massive infrastructure projects in African countries, he noted that the UAE strongly believes in promoting partnerships and knowledge sharing to enhance development efforts.

At the pavilion of Botswana, Sheikh Mohammed and Dr. Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, President of the Republic of Botswana, discussed bilateral relations and means of promoting it, mainly in the fields of investment and commerce. The two leaders also discussed the positive impact of Expo 2020 on the region.

Sheikh Mohammed and the President of Botswana toured the pavilion located in the Mobility District and learned about the investment opportunities that Botswana is showcasing at its pavilion, in addition to the environmental and cultural diversity that its pavilions highlight.

At the pavilion of Zimbabwe, Sheikh Mohammed met with the country’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa and reviewed bilateral relations. The Zimbabwe President said that his country sees the UAE as a gateway to access markets in the Middle East, Asia and Europe.

The meeting also discussed ways to boost trade exchange, and enable the private sectors of both countries to explore new investment opportunities, building on the strong economic ties between the two nations. The UAE is Zimbabwe’s second largest commercial partner. The two leaders also discussed cooperation to explore new investment opportunities in the areas of agriculture, mining, energy and the pharmaceutical industry, key sectors Zimbabwe is seeking to promote.

Sheikh Mohammed and Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa also toured the Zimbabwe pavilion, where they were briefed on the country’s culture, people, heritage and land, as well as its vision of embracing technology to create a better life for its people.

At the pavilion of Mauritius, Sheikh Mohammed and President Prithvirajsing Roopun of Mauritius discussed ways to boost bilateral cooperation, as well as explore new avenues to strengthen cooperation in various fields to serve the objectives of both nations in various sectors, especially tourism.

Sheikh Mohammed and President Prithvirajsing also toured the pavilion of Mauritius, which highlights the island’s pristine natural beauty, its unique biodiversity, rich culture and heritage, as well as exciting business and investment opportunities.

During his tour of Expo 2020 Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed also met with Evan Spiegel, Co-Founder and CEO of Snap Inc, the leading US-based social media company that owns the popular messaging app Snapchat.

Sheikh Mohammed also visited the pavilions of Rwanda and Kenya during his visit to Expo 2020 Dubai. At the Rwandan pavilion, organised under the theme ‘Remarkable Rwanda’, in the Opportunity District of Expo 2020 Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed learned about Rwanda’s history and its remarkable journey of development over the last 27 years as well as the country’s Vision 2050.

The pavilion features traditional cultural entertainment and dance, virtual reality tours, an experience of the country’s latest innovations and an opportunity to taste Rwanda’s best coffee and tea.

At the Kenyan pavilion themed ‘Feel the Energy’, located within the Opportunity District, Sheikh Mohammed learned about Kenya’s agricultural, economic and innovation potential, as well as its various key sectors and the hospitality and creativity of the Kenyan people.

The world is now hailing the vision and courage demonstrated by the leadership of Dubai and the UAE at this special time facing all the challenges and turning the challenges as blessings. About 3 to 5 percent of people visiting Expo 2020 is expected revisiting Dubai or planning to make Dubai their residence post the Expo.

In 1851 the Crystal Palace was the centrepiece of London’s Great Exhibition – the first World Expo. It celebrated the man-made industrial wonders of a rapidly changing world. Architecture, contents and a theme, ‘Industry of All Nations’, were combined to create a big idea of nations meeting nations in shared technological and commercial progress. In more recent years, participants in World Expos, including governments, international organisations and companies, have gathered to find solutions to universal challenges and to promote their achievements, products, ideas, innovations, their national brand, and their nations as destinations for tourism, trade and investment.

World Expos are held under the auspices of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the intergovernmental organisation responsible for overseeing and regulating international exhibitions (‘Expos’) and for fostering their core values of Education, Innovation and Cooperation. Today, four types of Expos are organised under the BIE’s auspices: World Expos, Specialised Expos, Horticultural Expos and the Triennale di Milano.

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