Mr. Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, and Dr. Riyad Al-Maliki, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of the State of Palestine, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Arab Fund for Technical Assistance to African Countries and the Palestinian Agency for International Cooperation (PICA) at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States on 5 September.
In their capacities as Chairmen of the Board of Directors of these two institutions, they were joined by Ambassador Muhannad Lagouzi, Assistant Secretary-General of the League of Arab States and Director-General of the Fund, Ambassador Muhannad Al-Aklouk, Permanent Representative of the State of Palestine, Ambassador Imad Al-Zuhairi, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Palestine and Director-General of PICA, and Ambassador Fayez Abu Al-Rub, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Palestine for Arab Affairs.
Gamal Roshdy, the official spokesperson for the Secretary-General, emphasised the significance of this step, highlighting how it bolsters the role of the Fund as an effective instrument for Arab-African cooperation. This cooperation aligns with and complements the overarching strategic goals pursued by the League of Arab States and its member states in collaboration with African counterparts. This becomes especially crucial in light of the imperative to strengthen Arab-African relations, with the upcoming Arab-African summit scheduled to take place in Saudi Arabia in November.
The spokesperson noted that despite facing financial challenges, the Fund managed to hold 24 training programmes during the academic year 2022/2023, benefiting 600 African trainees from various countries across Africa. These training programmes spanned diverse fields such as medicine, engineering, agriculture, oil, mining, and nursing. Additionally, the Fund granted 98 scholarships to students from 25 African countries to study in Arab universities.
Looking ahead, the Fund intends to organise 35 training courses in the upcoming academic year 2023/2024 and provide 100 scholarships for African students to study in Arab universities. The Fund has earned the respect and appreciation of African nations for its valuable efforts, and this MoU will enable the Fund to leverage the extensive expertise of PICA and its specialised workforce in delivering programs and training courses for the benefit of African professionals and cadres.