L’ÉTAT DE RAPPROCHEMENT

Kazakhstan 2017 | DIPLOMACY | GUEST SPEAKER

TBY talks to Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal, on the value of the establishment of strong relations between Africa and Central Asia and the opportunities for sectors of the Senegalese economy.

Macky Sall
BIOGRAPHY
Elected fourth President of the Republic of Senegal, President Macky Sall was sworn in on April 2, 2012. In the course of his career, he held several positions of Minister, until he was appointed Prime Minister from 2004 to 2007. He also acted as CEO of the Senegalese National Oil Company (PETROSEN). A geological engineer and geophysicist, President Sall graduated from the Institute of Earth Sciences of Dakar (IST) and from the National School for Petroleum and Engines (ENSPM) of the French Petroleum Institute of Paris (IFP). Being multilingual and the first president born after independence, Sall is the symbol of a new generation in Senegal’s political history.

Kazakhstan is showing a growing interest in Africa and your visit to Astana in 2016 was the first of a non-Arab African country. How does this event open a new chapter in relations between Kazakhstan and Senegal, and with Africa as a whole?

This visit, part of the rapprochement between Africa and Central Asia, demonstrates a common will to strengthen the friendship and cooperation between our two countries in areas of the economy and security on a regional and international level, and a common respect for the principles of equality, partnership, and dialog in international relations. Without a doubt, we have opened a new chapter in the relations between our two continents and, particularly, our two countries; two countries that share many affinities, such as values of tolerance and respect for diversity in our two countries where an Islamic majority coexists peacefully with other religions; two countries animated by a spirit of openness and dialog. This meeting was, above all, an opportunity to appreciate Kazakhstan's expertise in the fields of energy and agriculture.

In what areas of economic activity do you see potential for cooperation between the two countries?

The sectors of energy, mining, tourism, agriculture, infrastructure, and industry have been identified as key areas of the economy for cooperation. In Senegal, all our energies are mobilized for the development of these key sectors around the Emerging Senegal Plan (ESP). The priority is to improve the performance of our economy by an average growth of 7% per year, sustainable and inclusive, and place Senegal on the path of emergence. Between Senegal and Kazakhstan, we have signed an agreement between the Ministry of Culture and Sports of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of Sports of Senegal to promote bilateral relations in this field. I also had the pleasure of meeting the major players in the economy of Kazakhstan during an investment conference hosted at Nazarbayev University, where I presented the projects and reforms underway to the investors and public authorities that I invited to seize the numerous opportunities in Senegal.

How does Senegal intend to contribute to Expo 2017 and what is your vision on its long-term impact on the Kazakh economy?

It is with great pleasure that we confirmed our participation in the 2017 International Exposition in Astana to President Nazarbayev, who granted me the honor of inviting Senegal. I look forward to taking part in this great moment of meetings, exchanges, and partnerships in Astana in 2017, the first Exhibition hosted in Central Asia. Senegal intends to actively participate in Expo 2017 in Astana under the theme “Energy of the Future," which aims to promote alternative sources of energy. This initiative is aligned with the overall objectives set in Paris and Marrakech at COP 21 and COP 22 where Africa, and, therefore, Senegal, stood at the forefront of the international commitment on the issue of climate. It is thus relevant to resolve the issue of energy and access to electricity on our continent, objectives that can be achieved with new technologies enabling us to envisage differently the energy of the future that is so vital to our development. Perhaps one day, just as Kazakhstan has organized the first international Expo in Asia, an upcoming Expo will take place in Dakar as the first in Africa.

How do you envisage the future of diplomatic, economic, and trade relations between Senegal and Kazakhstan?

We have the common ambition to establish a cultural dialogue and to broaden the components of this dialog in order to strengthen the bonds of friendship and economic, commercial, and security cooperation between our two countries. I hope that we will continue our cooperation and that we will also extend it to the educational and scientific associations of our countries, for example, in order to facilitate the exchange of our qualified students and specialists.