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Africa-Europe relations must lead to beneficial cooperation — Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says the long-standing relations between Africa and Europe should be a catalyst for enhanced and equitable cooperation between the two continents.

He said Europe should ensure that Africa gets the needed assistance, especially as the continent struggles to catch up with the rest of the world due to the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The President made the call on Tuesday when he addressed the 15th Edition of the European Development Days (EDD) Forum in Brussels, Belgium.

Organized by the European Commission, the EDD forum brought together key actors to share ideas and experiences to inspire new partnerships and innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

The forum’s 15th edition focused on “Global Gateway: Building Sustainable partnerships for a Connected World.” Global gateway is the new European strategy to tackle the most pressing global challenges, from fighting climate change to improving health systems, and boosting competitiveness and security of global supply chains President Akufo-Addo the bonds between the two continents, founded on ties of blood, culture, geography and history, demanded that Europe gave a higher priority to development
cooperation with Africa to close the widening socio-economic gap between them.

“Indeed, no one needs to tell us that the issues of peace, progress and prosperity in Africa and Europe are deeply intertwined, which pre-suppose that ensuring the development of Africa should be in our common interest.

“Now more than ever, strong partnership between Europe and Africa, reinforced political dialogue, and expanded co-operation in the fields of economic growth and international security, is required.

We have to work together to achieve our goals, including a fair, equitable process of the energy transition, which recognizes that the entire African continent is responsible for less than four percent of global emissions, and which safeguards the prospects of Africa’s development,” he said.

The President said that the establishment of the €300 billion Global Gateway package by the European Union, which aims to boost public and private investment in the areas of infrastructure, energy and green transition, digital transformation, growth and jobs, transport and human development over the next seven years, is very much welcomed.

He, however, emphasized that the package must be innovative in its approaches to infrastructure investments and financing, and should be characterised by demand-driven projects, which deliver on African-defined priorities.

President Akufo-Addo was hopeful that the outcome of the two-day forum would prove beneficial in the successful implementation of infrastructural developments across Africa.

“In the next few years, we must be able to see tangible projects across Africa as proof of the fruits of the strategic partnership that exists between Africa and Europe. Excellent relations between Europe and Africa are essential to global security in this 21st century, which should lead us onto the path of shared progress and prosperity”, he said.

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