The following information
is published as Open Sources, it does not constitute any
endorsement from ISRIA. If titles are sometimes modified for better
understanding, the contents are reproduced as delivered by the official
institution that first published it. To know the origin,
click on 'view original source' at the end of the page.
Share / Bookmark this Article
EU and Africa want to consolidate their strategic partnership
José Manuel Durão Barroso
President of the European
Opening speech by President
Barroso at the Africa-EU Summit: "The
EU and Africa: consolidating our strategic partnership"
Session, Africa-EU Summit
Tripoli, 29th November 2010
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We can build on the Joint Africa-EU Strategy as a political
framework that allows us to project our common values, and jointly
pursue our common interests in a changing world.
Africa is on the move for peace and prosperity. For sure, many
serious problems persist – poverty, human rights, conflicts
- but you are addressing them and we are your partners in this
In the past twenty years, the number of armed conflicts has
decreased by over a third. With the consolidation of the African
Peace and Security Architecture, the African Union and African
regional communities are now better equipped to bring peace and
stability to the continent. I would like to commend the work
of the African Union and of its Commission.
Also, Africa's economic growth has been impressive: per capita
GDP increased annually by 6% between 2006 and 2008. And Foreign
Direct Investment inflows to Africa have been rising strongly
The overarching priority for the EU, as set out in our Europe
2020 reform strategy, is growth. This strategy specifically refers
to Europe's relations with Africa, and to how we can translate
our political objectives into concrete action over the next decade.
Achieving the Millennium Development Goals and effectively reducing
poverty continues to be our end goal, and I firmly believe that
these are still attainable by 2015. The European Union remains
deeply committed to this objective, and just recently in New
York I had the opportunity to announce, on behalf of the European
Union, an MDGs initiative of €1 billion to help those countries
most in need.
However, at the same time we have to take our political and
policy dialogue beyond the traditional development focus. No
developing country ever became a developed country through aid
We have come to Tripoli to identify sustainable solutions to
today's challenges. These solutions will bring our peoples, our
businesses, our cultures and our youth closer together.
We have come to Tripoli with the fascinating long-term perspective
of a Euro-African economic area in mind – an area which
will provide opportunities for 2.5billion citizens by 2050.
The economic and financial crisis is not over yet. But as we
work to emerge from it, new avenues for Africa and Europe to
restore and accelerate growth are opened.
Allow me to highlight two examples, energy and climate and trade.
The first relates to our cooperation in the areas of energy
and climate change.
Africa accounts for just 5.6% of the world’s energy consumption
and 3% of the CO2 emissions. However it is the continent which
suffers the most from the effects of climate change and where
energy poverty is highest.
Nevertheless Africa has enormous potential to spark a "renewable
energy revolution" and lift almost 600 million Africans
out of energy poverty.
The EU is already closely cooperating with Africa in renewable
energy technology, including transfer and training through its
Energy Facility which is currently implementing 62 projects in
34 African states worth €400 million, with a contribution
from the Commission of €180 million.
Jointly, we can promote sound conditions for investment and
growth, foster regional and continental energy interconnections,
boost energy trade and improve energy security.
That is the goal of the new Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation
Programme launched in Vienna this September, which will be supported
by fast-start climate financing in its start-up phase.
There are opportunities to establish partnerships in the private
sector to explore new avenues for cleaner energy supply, accessing
technologies like hydropower or transitional fuels like gas but
also geothermal, wind and solar power.
My second example is trade and regional integration. Both are
powerful catalysts for peace, stability, growth, jobs and prosperity.
Regional integration is an essential vehicle for economic growth
and this is as true in Europe as it is in Africa.
Currently only a tenth of Africa’s trade is within Africa
itself. The European Commission is committed to assisting African
economies to remove bottlenecks which hamper integration and
trade, like country and regional infrastructure, interconnectivity,
services and regulatory aspects.
Regional Economic Communities are true engines of this process,
and we follow with great interest the current efforts for streamlining
and harmonizing their agendas, as in the Tripartite Initiative
in Eastern and Southern Africa.
We also hope to conclude the Doha Development Agenda. The economic
gains that Africa stands to reap from the DDA are huge. An ambitious
trade result, with a supportive domestic policy environment,
is estimated to offer gains of approximately 5% of income in
developing countries, which would lift some 300 million people
out of poverty by 2015. This is much more than all development
aid combined can ever achieve.
That is why we are also engaging in Economic Partnership Agreements
with five regions in Sub-Saharan Africa. We see them as a way
to support socio-economic development, regional integration and
the integration of Africa in the global economy.
However, market access alone is not enough; supply-side constraints
need to be addressed in order to enable African countries to
take advantage of trade opportunities, in particular addressing
the lack of infrastructure, and we are giving this a higher priority
in our relations with Africa.
Aid for Trade is key in this respect, and the European Union
is the biggest provider of Aid For Trade in the world, delivering
more than €10 billion in 2008.
view original source
© Copyright 2011 - ISRIA -
all rights reserved - Established 2004