Magazine Afrique

New Action Plan for Africa/EU Cooperation

Publié le 30 novembre 2010 par 237online @237online

Écrit par Cameroon Tribune   

Mardi, 30 Novembre 2010 11:08

New Action Plan for Africa/EU Cooperation
The 3rd Africa/European Union (EU) Summit opened in Tripoli on monday with President Paul Biya and wife, Chantal Biya in attendance.
Some 30 African Heads of State and Government as well as European Union leaders and top officials from the 80 countries that make up the Africa/EU partnership platform met in the Libyan capital, Tripoli yesterday November 29, 2010 for their 3rd Summit meeting. President Paul Biya who arrived in Tripoli on Sunday evening took an active part in the opening ceremony that saw seven keynote speeches. By the end of deliberations today, the second phase of the Africa/EU partnership is expected to be put in place.

Those who took to the floor at yesterday's official opening ceremony were the host President Muammar al-Gaddafi commonly known as Guide of the First of September Great Revolution of the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya; President of the European Union Council who is the co-chair of the Summit, Herman Van Rompu; the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso; Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan; the Pan-African Parliament President, Hon. MP Mrs. Getrude Mongela from the United Republic of Tanzania; as well as President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon, another co-chair of the Summit and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Jean Ping.

Of course President Paul Biya of the Republic of Cameroon keenly followed the opening speeches that later gave room for close-door plenary sessions that are expected to come out with the Libyan Declaration on the way forward for the Africa/EU partnership. Expert meetings prior to the Summit indicate that the outcome of the confab should help in charting a political vision/renewed commitments and new context since Lisbon in 2007 as well as reiterating the specificity of the EU-Africa partnership and how both continents can address global challenges together.

When the Africa/EU platform came into existence in Cairo, Egypt in 2000, it was just an attempt to give a new touch to historic ties that had over the years impacted the evolution of Africa and Europe with much chequered results. By 2007 in Lisbon, Portugal, when the leaders of both continents met for the second time, they immediately came out with a blueprint called the 2008-2010 Action Plan that is being reviewed now in Libya. This 3rd Summit will therefore end today with the adoption of the 2010-2013 Action Plan which observers hope will have the total blessings of key European actors such as Presidents Nicolas Sarkozy of France, Prime Minister, David Cameron, of Great Britain and German Chancellor Angela Dorothea Merkel who were all absent yesterday from the Libyan gathering.

Experts that have prepared the files for the Heads of State, say the 2011-1213 Action Plan is based on the priorities and achievements in the eight thematic areas agreed in Lisbon with its objectives being pursued through informal joint expert groups involving all member states concerned and stakeholders. It will also focus on activities with regional, continental or global dimensions taking into consideration the necessary political, human and financial resources. Another high-point on the plan is an attempt to remedy some implementation challenges identified since Lisbon, and to promote further the participation of key African and European partners.

In line with efforts to ensure an effective follow up of the Summit theme: "Investment, Economic Growth and Job Creation" several sideline meetings on areas such as The EU-Africa Business Forum, the parliamentary pre-summit, Africa-EU Youth event, Conference on higher education and High Level Conference on Better Training for Safer Food, Intercontinental civil society forum were among the specialised discussions that experts examined before the two-day Heads of State Summit.

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