EU and Africa must cooperate together to meet the challenges we face

By Benjamin Steens

On the occasion of today’s launch of the position paper on EU-Africa relations, Renew Europe MEPs Samira Rafaela and Javier Nart presented the group’s priorities on this topic and debated the future of EU-Africa Relations during the online event with Maria Martin-Prat (Deputy Director of DG Trade), Acheikh Ibn Oumar (Minister for National Reconciliation and Dialogue of the Republic of Chad), Sandra Kramer (Director for EU-AU relations, West and East Africa, DG DEVCO, European Commission), Annadif Khatir Mahamat Saleh (Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel) and Pamela Coke-Hamilton (Executive Director of International Trade Center).

The webinar discussions on the EU-Africa relations were focused on the need to cooperate together in order to find solutions that would allow the African continent to promote the most inclusive society possible. To do so, there are many challenges that need to be addressed. Building resilience, ensuring women’s access to the economic and social sphere, investing more in Africa’s youth, supporting African SMEs to grow and keep up with technological and digital evolutions so that they can also meet the climate ambitions that lie ahead.

A conclusion that emanated from each intervention was that of the commitment of citizens. It is essential to collect the opinion of the African population and to start from their recommendations in order to establish strategies that meet their expectations. For it is only by consolidating the population through projects that directly impact them that we will be able to change the current situation.

Samira Rafaela MEP

“There is a need for a comprehensive approach towards EU and Africa to launch a new strategic partnership inclusiveness and equality. We depend on each other and we therefore need to engage infrastructure cooperation for sustainable development with African development.”

Maria Martin-Prat, Deputy Director General DG Trade

“We need to work on sustainable development initiative with African partners who want to see framework that allows facilitation of investment in a new way.”

Acheikh Ibn Oumar, Minister of National Reconciliation and Dialogue (Republic of Chad)

“International partners need to understand the complexity of the situation and that these phenomena are not pleasant at the moment.”

Sandra Kramer, Director DG INTPA

“Africa is a geopolitical priority for the EU and the Commission.”

Annadif Khatir Mahamat Saleh, Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel.

“West Africa is facing one main challenge: democracy.”

Pamela Coke-Hamilton, executive director ITC:

“Pandemic has confirmed our dependencies which require global solution with a need to Build relations based on respect.”

Javier Nart MEP:

“There is a need for a real relation with Africa based on lessons but also based to the listening of the local people.”

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