“We need a new alliance with Africa” – European Council

European Council President, Charles Michel (Photo credit THIERRY ROGE/AFP/Getty Images)

The European Council (EUCO) has announced renewed partnership interests in Africa through trading, technology exchange, and political advancements.

 

Charles Michel, President of EUCO, while speaking in Brussels at a gathering of European leaders to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic, made this disclosure. “Africa is a natural partner for the EU because of our geography, our history, our cultures,” he says.

“Regarding our relationship with Africa, we are convinced that we must focus more efforts on investment support, on building a mutually beneficial partnership, and on infrastructure. That’s why we discussed the debt of African countries. The issue has become even more relevant in the COVID-19 context as it’s put a strain on healthcare systems.”

One of the areas of focus for the meeting was discussions on climate change and how new technologies can help to reduce the global impact.

In a statement released by the EU, it said:

“To help address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Council is committed to furthering international debt relief for African countries within the relevant multilateral frameworks. EU leaders asked the Council to prepare a common approach in this respect by the end of November 2020. EU leaders are also committed to strengthening EU support to health systems and the reinforcement of partners’ preparedness and response capacity. Solidarity and cooperation in the fight against the pandemic, including the development of vaccines and their distribution, are crucial.”

“The EU wants to extend its partnership with Africa on its economic transformation, in parallel with the green and digital transformation. The European Council discussed its intention to work with its African partners and boost investment. The following sectors are key for further cooperation and investment:

  • the digital and knowledge economy
  • renewable energy
  • transport
  • health
  • agri-food systems”

The EU currently has several partnership projects across Africa and continues to aid in the development of technologies to combat climate change challenges.