Antananarivo, 18 May 2023 (TDI): On Wednesday, the Ambassador of Pakistan to Madagascar, Muhammad Arshad Jan, presented his credentials to the President of the Republic of Madagascar, Andry Rajoelina, at the Lavoloha State Palace, Antananarivo. Honorary Consul General of Pakistan, Abdoulrassoul Yavarhossen, also attended the credential ceremony.

Pakistani Ambassador conveyed greetings and warm wishes from the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan to the Malagasy President. Ambassador Arshad apprised President Andry Rajoelina of the “Engage Africa Policy” of Pakistan. He also briefed the President on exploiting various opportunities resulting from the policy.

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The Malagasy President was eager to engage politically and economically with Pakistan. The meeting concluded with a commitment to finalize and sign the Memorandum of Understanding MoU on Bilateral Political Consultation between the two countries at the earliest.

Engage Africa

The economy of Pakistan has registered abysmal growth and continued to decline. Exports and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) are required for the growth of the economy. Towards this end, Pakistan, in 2019, initiated the “Engage Africa Policy” to tap into the market of 1.2 billion people in Africa.

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Pakistan also increased its diplomatic engagements with African countries to achieve the policy objective. In September 2019, Former Prime Minister Imran Khan met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, and Ethiopian President Shale-Work Zewde on the sidelines of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Moreover, in 2020, Pakistan approved the opening of five new embassies in Africa. The embassies would be opened in Djibouti, Rwanda, Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Uganda. The government also approved the upgradation of embassies in Niger and Tanzania to the ambassadorial level.

The policy resulted in an increase in the trade of Pakistan with the African continent. Even during the difficult situation of Coronavirus in 2019, Pakistan registered a 7 percent growth in trade with Africa.