CAIRO, (The Southern African Times) – Dozens of diplomats and businessmen from Arab, African and Asian countries witnessed on Tuesday an evening ceremony in Cairo for the inauguration of the Afro-Asian Union for Tourism, Crafts, Research and E-Commerce (AFASU), which seeks to further connect African and Asian countries in various fields.
Hossam Darwish, president of the union, said that AFASU will be concerned with many areas of cooperation between African and Asian states, including tourism and travel, space, research, e-commerce, crafts, cinema, women’s causes and more.
“AFASU aims to establish strategic and investment partnerships between African and Asian states, develop our businesses together and work together in agriculture, industry, commerce, tourism and traditional crafts,” the AFASU chief told Xinhua.
He added that AFASU will communicate soon with Chinese officials to discuss prospect cooperation, for the union hopes to open an office in China.
For his part, AFASU first vice president, Ahmed Taalab, said that “the basic and greater goal of the union is to eliminate poverty and unemployment and achieve sustainable development.”
He pointed out that the union officially has 18 member states, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Rwanda, Mali and Tanzania, noting that at least 12 of them have now AFASU representation offices and the rest will do in a couple of months.
The new union, AFASU, is one of the several unions of the Cairo-based Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organization (AAPSO), which was established in 1958 and currently has at least 90 member African and Asian states.
“This new union is one of AAPSO’s several unions in various fields, which is established to fulfil the dire need of further communication between the peoples of Asia and Africa and to develop and improve their cooperation in the fields of economy, agriculture, medicine, art and other fields,” Helmi al-Hadidi, head of AAPSO, told SAT during the inauguration ceremony.