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MOFA thanks African parliamentarians and political figures for welcoming President Tsai’s visit to Africa

  • Date:2023-09-04
  • Data Source:Department of West Asian and African Affairs

September 4, 2023
No. 290


President Tsai Ing-wen will lead a delegation to the Kingdom of Eswatini—a diplomatic ally in Africa—on September 5. Before her departure, prominent political figures of 11 African nations have already welcomed President Tsai’s return to the continent through joint statements, letters, social media posts, and other means. They have recognized Taiwan’s freedom and democracy and its cooperation with Africa in a range of fields. Their statements have also expressed confidence that President Tsai’s visit will enhance collaborations and exchanges between Taiwan and Africa. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) sincerely thanks the political leaders and friends from Africa for their friendship and support for Taiwan.


Over 80 parliamentarians from both ruling and opposition parties of 11 African countries—including South Africa, Malawi, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Lesotho, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, Namibia, and Somaliland—signed a joint statement welcoming President Tsai’s visit to Eswatini. The parliamentarians represent their respective countries as members of the Formosa Club. The statement acknowledged the tangible results of the Africa Project, launched by President Tsai during her visit to Eswatini in 2018. This has deepened cooperation between Taiwan and Africa in areas including agriculture, education, ICT, energy, trade, and tourism, and demonstrates Taiwan’s value and importance to Africa’s future development. The parliamentarians also underlined that Taiwan is a beacon of democracy and a global success story. The Formosa Club in Africa is founded on the shared values of freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. Its aim is to further develop partnerships and exchanges with Taiwan.


Meanwhile, John Steenhuisen, leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) of South Africa, also wrote to welcome President Tsai on behalf of his party and all freedom-loving African people. The DA holds 84 seats in the South African National Assembly, making it the country’s main opposition party. Steenhuisen said that with South Africa hosting Chinese leader Xi Jinping for the BRICS summit in August, he was very happy to learn that Eswatini—also a member of the Southern Africa Development Community like South Africa—will be receiving President Tsai in early September. He expressed admiration for Taiwan’s efforts to defend the universal values of democracy, freedom, the rule of law, and human rights against China’s expanding threats and oppression. President Tsai’s visit signals a clear commitment by Taiwan to expand trade, develop cultural ties, and increase cooperation in other spheres with Africa. Steenhuisen said the DA is a staunch ally of Taiwan. He welcomed President Tsai’s trip to Eswatini and looked forward to her visiting South Africa in the future. Narend Singh, leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party, also wrote to President Tsai on behalf of his political party—which holds 14 seats in the South African National Assembly—to welcome her visit and express support for Taiwan.


Former President of Botswana Seretse Khama Ian Khama wrote to President Tsai expressing his high regard for her commitment to uphold Taiwan’s freedom and democracy. He called on democracies around the world to unite in defense of democracy and respond to common challenges. Former President Khama also believed President Tsai’s visit will further strengthen Taiwan-Africa relations.


The Africa Project, which was initiated following President Tsai’s visit to Taiwan’s diplomatic ally Eswatini in 2018, has advanced cooperation and exchanges between Taiwan and Africa in all fields. Parliamentarians, political figures, and other allies from all sectors of African society have warmly welcomed and supported President Tsai’s second visit to the continent. This demonstrates the recognition that Taiwan enjoys among its African friends for its liberal democracy and open economy as well as the Taiwan model of cooperation with African countries, which is based on steadfast diplomacy and mutual assistance for mutual benefit. On these solid foundations, MOFA will continue to deepen cordial and cooperative ties with African countries in all spheres. (E)