Iran proposes creation of joint bank with African states
During a conference with representatives from West African states, the Iranian president stressed that, unlike the west, Tehran is interested in Africa's 'welfare and development'
By News Desk - March 07 2023

(Photo Credit: IRNA)

Iranian Vice President for Economic Affairs, Mohsen Rezaei, proposed the creation of a joint bank with African states with the aim of helping develop economic relations.

The proposal was made on 6 March during the first day of the Scientific and Economic Cooperation Meeting Between Iran and West African Countries. Rezaei stressed that Tehran could “give a boost” to many advanced industries in West Africa.

“Iran has a realistic and up-to-date understanding of the realities and needs of Africa as a talented and dynamic continent with a bright future, and declares its serious determination to promote relations in all fields, especially in economic and commercial sectors,” the senior Iranian official added.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was also present during the first day of the conference, which is being attended by several ministers, deputy ministers, and officials from West African states.

During his intervention, he stressed Tehran’s intentions to enhance relations with African countries to help those nations progress and thrive.

“In the past centuries, Western countries have looted the wealth of African countries by exercising domination and establishing colonial rule,” Raisi said, before adding that “for the Islamic Republic of Iran, the development of relations with Africa is not for the wealth of this region, as [Iran] seeks the progress and welfare of all nations.”

The Iranian president also offered to lift “ineffective regulations and tariffs” to bolster economic ties and facilitate the transfer of knowledge and new technologies to the African continent.

“The current statistics of trade and the exchange of experience between Iran and Africa has not been acceptable, and according to the capacities and efforts of the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran and West African countries, it is expected that the cooperation and economic and commercial relations between them will see a transformation even more,” Raisi stressed.

He also spoke about the “similar threats” faced by Iran and West African states, particularly from extremist armed groups that receive the support of foreign states.

“With its human and natural talents and capacities, Africa can make significant progress by uniting and standing against colonial policies, and we believe that the conditions are ripe for cooperation and helping this development and progress,” Raisi concluded.

Iranian Trade Minister Reza Fatemi Amin said on Monday that Tehran wants to establish an increased presence in markets in West Africa and plans to sign nearly $2 billion worth of trade contracts and memoranda of understanding with the countries of that region.

Non-oil exports from Iran to Africa increased by six percent in the first 11 months of the current Iranian calendar year when compared to the same period the year before.

According to the Vice President of Iran and Africa Merchants Club, Ruhollah Latifi, Iranian traders exported over two million tons of commodities worth over one billion dollars to African states over the same period.

Among Iran’s 55 African trade partners, the Islamic Republic exported commodities to 45 nations.

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