The Embassy of the Republic of Malawi to the State of Kuwait, on 14th February, 2017, hosted a Quarterly Meeting of African Group of Ambassadors and Heads of Mission at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Kuwait.
The meeting, which was chaired by His Excellency Wilfred ALI, Ambassador of the Republic of Malawi, and co-chaired by His Excellency Abdou Lahad Mbacke, the Dean of Diplomatic Corps and Ambassador of Senegal, attracted 30 Ambassadors and Heads of Missions represented in the State of Kuwait from the African Continent.
The meeting, which adopted Adoption of Minutes of the Previous African Group Meeting and discussed the matters that have arisen from that Previous Meeting, also discussed the creation of the framework for developing the Objectives, Mandate and 2017 Programme of Activities of the African Group with an aim to consolidate cooperation between the State of Kuwait and African countries.
Additionally, the Meeting worked on modalities for the preparations for the forthcoming African Day Cerebration.
Ambassador ALI (Center) chairing the meeting franked by the Dean of Diplomatic Corps and Ambassador of Senegal H.E. Abdou Lahad Mbacke and the Deputy Dean of Diplomatic Corps and Ambassador of Somalia H.E. Dr. Abdulqadir Amin Abu Baker Shaikh
Opening the meeting, His Excellency Ambassador Wilfred ALI called for a minute of silence in honor of the late Ambassador of Sierra Leone to the State of Kuwait His Excellency Ibrahim Kamara who died on 8th February, 2017 while on vacation, in Free Town, Sierra Leone.
Ambassador ALI thanked the Government of the State of Kuwait for its tireless efforts to create a conducive environment which allows diplomatic missions to operate freely. He congratulated His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah the Amir of the State of Kuwait and the people of Kuwait as they prepared for national day and liberation day celebrations.
Some Ambassadors and Heads of Mission attending the meetings
H.E. Ambassador ALI introducing the Guest of Honour Assistant Foreign Minister for African Affairs His Excellency Hamad Al-Meshan (seated next to Ambassador ALI in white head gear)
Addressing the gathering, the Guest of honour, Assistant Foreign Minister for African Affairs, His Excellency Hamad Al-Meshan, praised the Embassy of Malawi for hosting a highly successful meeting and thanked the Malawi envoy for inviting him to the meeting.
H.E. Al-Meshan assured Ambassadors and Heads of Mission that Kuwait remained committed to the consolidation of friendly ties with Africa. He said this was the reason why His Highness the Amir of the State of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sahah fully participated at the Africa-Arab Summit in Equatorial Guinea despite disagreements that arose between the African and Arab sides which led to the boycotting of the summit by some Arab countries. He said many leaders had expected that the Amir of Kuwait would join his fellow Arab leaders in boycotting the summit but the Amir saw wisdom in remaining and continuing to participate in the summit.
He reminded Embassies that so far, US$ 750 million out of the US$1 billion that His Highness the Amir of Kuwait had pledged during the Africa-Arab Summit which Kuwait hosted in 2013 had been expended and that African countries were continuing to submit project proposals for possible financing under the initiative. He urged countries that had not submitted proposals to do so to benefit from the initiative.
Additionally, he reminded the Embassies that the 2017 Annual US$1 million Abdul Rahman Al-Sumait Award is now open and that African countries are expected to submit entries for consideration. The Award was introduced by His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah the Amir of Kuwait in honor of the late Dr. Abdul Rahman Al-Sumait, a Kuwait philanthropist who founded Direct Aid. The organization originated from Malawi and was initially known as Malawi Muslim Committee and later changed its name to Africa Muslims Agency then Direct Aid.
The Award mainly focuses on the advancements made in the areas of Food Security, Health and Education on the African continent and is awarded annually to individuals or institutions which comes up a remarkable research and recognizable best studies, scientific projects, applied research, and innovative initiatives, which can have a significant and lasting influence in advancing progress to economic and social development in Africa. The awarded projects should demonstrate how they have helped African nations to overcome poverty, hunger, lack of potable water, injustice or to improve health care, literacy and the allocation of economic resources.
His Excellency Al Meshan then assured Ambassadors and Heads of Mission that his office remained committed to facilitating their meetings with various government agencies as they consolidate bilateral ties between their countries and Kuwait. He was responding to complaints by some Ambassadors about delays in meeting with senior government officials whereby he asked the Ambassadors to remain patient since Government was facing various challenges with the National Assembly.
His Excellency Al Meshan took advantage of the meeting to remind Ambassadors and Heads of Mission on the request for support of Kuwait Government’s bid for membership of the United Nations Security Council and urged the Ambassadors and Heads of Mission to facilitate making follow ups with their respective governments.
The guest Speaker at the meeting was His Excellency Yahya Alibi, Head of Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross who focused his presentation on the activities of the International Committee of the Red Cross in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries as well as international humanitarian law and humanitarian works the organization is handling to support those affected by natural disasters and conflicts in the region and the world at large.
The meeting was considered to be one of the most successful meetings of African Ambassadors and Heads of Mission and all participants congratulated the Embassy of the Republic of Malawi for organizing such a successful meeting which they said will likely redefine the way such meetings are organized.