Ignazio Cassis to visit North and West Africa

Press release, 04.02.2021

Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis will pay an official visit to North and West Africa from 7 to 13 February. The trip will take him to Algeria, Mali, Senegal and The Gambia. Talks will focus on the priorities of the new strategies for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and sub-Saharan Africa in 2021–24. Key issues to be covered include the promotion of dialogue, economic development, and cooperation in relation to digitalisation. The public health crisis surrounding Covid-19 will also be discussed.

Following the Federal Council's recent adoption of Switzerland's strategies for the MENA region and sub-Saharan Africa, the head of the FDFA will travel to Africa to discuss implementation over the next four years. With these new strategies, Switzerland aims to optimise coordination between the different diplomatic, economic and development policy instruments, taking account of existing links between North Africa and the Sahel region.

Official visits to four countries
Mr Cassis will first travel to Algeria, where he will discuss regional peace and security issues with Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad and Foreign Minister Sabri Boukadoum. In Algiers, he will meet the Algerian-Swiss Business Club and discuss vocational education and training with local Swiss companies.

From 9 to 11 February he will be in Mali, where meetings with President Bah N'Daw and Foreign Minister Zeyni Moulaye are planned. Here Mr Cassis will hold talks on peace support, development cooperation and humanitarian aid. In Bamako, he will visit the Swiss contingent of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). He will also inspect rural development projects supported by Switzerland.

From 11 to 13 February Mr Cassis will visit Senegal, where he will meet President Macky Sall and Foreign Minister Aissata Tall Sall. The focus of the discussions will be Senegal's strong economic potential as well as cooperation in the field of digitalisation and climate issues. A visit to an online learning project is also on the agenda.

Finally, Mr Cassis will travel to The Gambia on 13 February. The programme in Banjul includes talks with Vice-President Isatou Touray and Foreign Minister Mamadou Tangara.

Mr Cassis will be accompanied on his trip by National Councillors Elisabeth Schneider-Schneiter, a member of the National Council's Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC), and Nicolas Walder, a member of the FAC and of the delegation to the French-speaking Parliamentary Assembly.

Building on Africa's opportunities
The new Sub-Saharan Africa Strategy 2021–24, recently adopted by the Federal Council on 13 January, reflects the vast diversity on the African continent. In particular, it profiles the growing momentum and opportunities in Africa's 'lion economies', which include Senegal. In Mali and the Sahel region, Switzerland's focus is on peace, quality basic services and sustainable development.


Further information:

Bilateral relations Switzerland–Algeria
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Mali
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Senegal
Bilateral relations Switzerland–the Gambia


MENA Strategy 2021-2024(pdf, 8443kb)
Sub-Saharan Africa Strategy 2021-2024(pdf, 4795kb)


Address for enquiries:

FDFA Communication
Federal Palace West Wing
CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland
Tel.: +41 58 462 31 53
E-mail: kommunikation@eda.admin.ch
Twitter: @SwissMFA


Publisher:

Federal Department of Foreign Affairs