As part of the Thai government’s “Look West” policy to engage beyond the Asian region, Thailand intends to enhance strategic partnership with Africa.
Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Jullapong Nonsrichai stated that Thailand continues to attach great importance to Africa, as a continent, as well as relations with individual African countries.
In his statement at the 5th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in Yokohama, Japan, on 2 June 2013, Mr. Jullapong said that Thailand stands ready to share its best practices in development through the TICAD framework as well as with other development partners.
In the past decades, he said, Thailand provided Africa with scholarships for higher education. Over 700 fellowships are offered annually for International Training Courses on such key areas as sufficiency economy, climate change, food security, and public health. Comprehensive programs on technical cooperation are involved mainly in food and fishery, public health, services, and rural development.
Thailand’s best practice on Sufficiency Economy has contributed to the nation’s sustainable development and the grassroots self-reliance towards a resilient community, a pilot model of the Sustainable Agricultural Learning Centre set up in Lesotho proven to be successful and applicable.
Under the Trilateral Cooperation, Thailand prompts to share its know-how on rice production with Africa through the Coalition for African Rice Development Initiatives.
In support of the Millennium Development Goal 8, Thailand is looking forward to cooperating with Japan and other development partners through TICAD process and beyond, as well as forging a post-2015 development agenda that reflects Africa’s priorities. The Thai government will encourage the Thai private sector to play more active roles in Africa. The time is ripe for Thailand and Africa to elevate our long-term partnership to a higher stratum.
Thailand recently launched the Thai-African Initiative to enhance our long-term engagement with Africa through south-south economic, development, and strategic partnerships.
To invigorate this process, Thailand will convene a Thai-African High-Level Dialogue in November 2013. The Thai-African Initiative presents an opportunity to reflect on the broader vision for an enhanced linkage between Africa and Asia.