Addis Ababa, May 10, 2017 – (ECA) – Polish President Andrzej Duda on Tuesday met with the Economic Commission for Africa’s Acting Executive Secretary, Abdalla Hamdok, to discuss a number of issues that include Poland’s bid for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council and the need to boost business ties between Poland and Africa.
Mr. Duda, who earlier on had met his Ethiopian counterpart, Mulatu Teshome, told Mr. Hamdok that Poland is interested in investing in Africa, adding he would be happier if African businesses were also keen to invest in his country.
"We as a country hope to increase the cooperation between Africa and Poland. We want to see Poland being respected the world over for its expertise and what it stands for. We are open to friendly cooperation as partners, offering our extensive experience, among other things in the economic transformation of Africa,” he said.
“We want to invest in Africa, not exploit it,"said Mr. Duda, who was on his first visit to Africa said, adding this had given him the opportunity to speak with Mr. Hamdok and key ECA officials, Ethiopian leaders and officials from the African Union Commission to see how they could work together to help develop the continent.
He said working together would see them jointly paving the way for success economically, socially and politically.
Mr. Duda emphasized the need for solidarity saying Poland would not be what it is today had it not been supported by other countries. He narrated how tough it was living in his country during communism, adding since he came into office, living conditions had improved vastly for Polish people with the average salary currently standing at US$600.
His visit to Africa is mainly aimed at seeking Africa’s backing for Poland's bid for a non-permanent seat on the UN security council for 2018-2019. Voting takes place sometime in June.
For his part, Mr. Hamdok explained the role of the ECA to Mr. Duda, telling him the organization has done well over the years and will continue to promote the economic and social development of its African Member States, foster intra-regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa's development.
“Over the years through the joint efforts of the ECA and its partners, we have seen massive infrastructural development taking place in Africa, growing regional integration and trade as well,” said Mr. Hamdok, adding democracy had taken root in Africa with elections becoming the norm everywhere.
“Africans have got their priorities right and we as the ECA will continue to play our role in supporting our member states, especially the formulation of enabling policies that will lead to the structural transformation of economies on the continent,” he said.
Earlier Mr. Duda visited the African Union Commission and a plant that is operated by Polish tractor manufacturer, Ursus, in Ethiopia, and encouraged more companies from Poland to invest in Africa.
The Polish president crowned his visit to the ECA with a tour of the historic Africa Hall.
Economic Commission for Africa
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