Hugo Chávez made diplomatic inroads in Africa on Sunday at a summit of South American and African leaders where he offered Venezuela's help in oil projects, mining and financial assistance. Chávez and Libya's Moammar Gadaffi led about 30 leaders in agreeing to strengthen "South-South" ties at the two-day meeting, where Gadaffi proposed the two continents form a Nato-like defence alliance. "With this summit, a new era begins in the unity of South America and Africa," the Venezuelan president said. Venezuela signed agreements to work together on oil projects with South Africa, Mauritania, Niger, Sudan and Cape Verde. Chávez's government agreed to partner with South Africa's state oil company PetroSA in developing oil fields in Venezuela, and offered to help with oil projects in the other countries. Venezuela also intends to form joint mining companies with nations including Namibia, Mali, Niger and Mauritania, Chávez said, adding that "we're going to get results". He said the two regions together have enormous economic potential. It is unclear how much investment and aid Chávez is prepared to offer in Africa since his oil-producing country is coping with a sharp drop in its revenues due to lower world crude prices. The summit on Venezuela's Margarita Island addressed a wide range of concerns, from hunger in Africa to the economic crisis and a common response to climate change. It also gave Chávez an opportunity to increase his influence in Africa while criticising US and European influence in poorer nations. "There will no longer be a unipolar world," Chávez said, referring to US dominance. "In the 21st century, the African Union and South America will be truly great powers."