Relations between Indonesia and Africa have always been strong and vibrant for decades. Indonesia has a legacy as the host of the 1955 Asia-Africa Conference which was aimed to build global solidarity in opposing colonialism and seeking economic and cultural cooperation among newly independent countries. The conference shed light for the advancement of cooperation between Asian and African nationsthrough initiatives such as the Non – Alignment Movement and the 2005 New Asian-African Strategic Partnership (NAASP). Indonesiaremains consistent in its efforts to strengthen ties with Asian-African countries, as shown through the Commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the Asian – African Conference in 2015 where delegates pledged commitments to building stronger, more inclusive and sustainable cooperation.
Stepping forward from these political and historical legacies, Indonesia has the ambition to seriously improve economic relations with Africa.Indonesia is the largest economy in Southeast Asia, the world's fourth most populous nation, the world's 10th largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity, and a member of the G-20. The average country's economic growth from 2007 - 2016 was 5.7%, the third highest in the G20. Indonesia's GDP is expected to expand continuously.
According to Asian Nikkei and PwC reports, Indonesia is on track to become the world's fourth largest economy by 2050. To maintain its high economic growth, Indonesia has made inroads in diversifying export bases to include more complex sectors. In that context, Indonesian President Joko Widodo has repeatedly urged Indonesian business sectors to expand engagement with emerging countries, such as Africa, including at the recent G20 Leaders' Retreat in Hamburg, in which the President stated Indonesia's support for the G20 Africa Partnership and the achievement of Agenda 2063 in Africa through Compact with Africa. The importance of economic partnership between African countries and Indonesia is also highlighted within IORA cooperation to achieve a sustainable and equitable growth for all.
Recent economic indicators have clearly shown Africa's potential. The economy of sub-Saharan Africa grew around 3.5% in 2016, the second highest in the world after Asia. In 2020, according to IMF, Africa is the 2nd largest continent that enjoys high growth of 4.3%.Furthermore, in terms of population, approximately 62% of the African population is under 25 years-old, meaning that there will be an abundant work force that can help increase Africa's economic growth even higher. It is predicted that in 2034, Africa is expected to have the world's largest working-age population of 1.1 billion. Currently, there is around a 330 million middle class population in Africa that hasincreasingly stronger purchasing power. Reinforcing the positive outlook for growth is a continuing rise in infrastructure investment among African countries. Spending on infrastructure has doubled over the past decade, and now stands at 3.5% of GDP.
Understanding these realities, Indonesia believes that it is a right time for Indonesia and Africa to strengthen economic cooperation. The 2016 trade exchange between Indonesia and Africa reached USD 7.66 billion and there is still a lot of room for economic potential among the two entities.
To realize all economic potential, it is important to generate possible economic cooperation through a forum that targets all relevant stakeholders, encompassing government, business and other private sectors. In this connection, we would like to organize, “Indonesia-Africa Forum" on 10 – 11 April 2018 in Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia.