Foreign Affairs Ministers of Africa and Europe convene in Abidjan to brainstorm on Joint development issues

Dates: 
November 28, 2017

Foreign Affairs Ministers of Africa and Europe convene in Abidjan to brainstorm on Joint development issues

Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, 28 November 2017 – “The African Union (AU) and its Member States strive to create economic opportunities through regional integration, trade facilitation, and provision of an enabling investment environment.” Said H.E Mr. Kwesi Quartey, Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission, while addressing the opening ceremony of the Joint AU-EU Ministerial Meeting today 28 November 2017, ahead of the 5th African Union – European Union Summit to be held on 29 and 30 November 2017 in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. He also said “We strive to enhance societal and political resilience on the Continent for the benefit of current and future generations”. The event took place in the presence of AU Commissioners and high officials from the AU and the EU.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Quartey began by thanking the Government and people of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire for hosting the Summit and for the “excellent work put into the organization to ensure a serene and focused environment to conduct successful deliberations for the sake of the African youth”. He also thanked the European Union Delegation for the significant efforts they invested in the preparations, deliberations and for the cooperative approach they have demonstrated throughout the process.

According to Deputy Chairperson Quartey, “it is only through good governance and democracy and the rule of law that our strategic partnerships can render the relationship truly beneficial, notably that with the EU, can we achieve and deliver on these priorities”. He further recalled that between Europe and Africa, the geographic proximity and long historical relationship, could be a great strategic advantage to the joint AU-EU partnership. He however expressed satisfaction to the significant progress made by both continents over the past two decades since this partnership was forged. (See complete speech of the AUC Deputy Chairperson on the AU Website: www.au.int).

Speaking earlier while chairing the ministerial session, H.E Mr. Mamadi Toure, Foreign Affairs Minister of the Republic of Guinea transmitted greetings from his President and Chairperson of the African Union, Professor Alpha Konde to the President of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, H.E. Alassane Dramane Ouattara. He thanked the Government and people of Cote d’Ivoire for their warm welcome and for the excellent measures taken to facilitate the successful holding of the 5th AU-EU Summit. He underscored the need for the AU-EU to strengthen their partnership and share best practices with the view to face the many challenges of the world and better the lives of their respective populations.

Minister Mamadi Toure highlighted the theme of the summit: “Investment in Youth for Accelerated and Inclusive real growth and sustainable development" underlining that this shows the increased interest of the leaders from both continents to invest in the youth. He highlighted the joint issues to be discussed including job creation; skills development; peace and security; governance including democracy, human rights, migration and mobility; investment and trade among others. (See complete speech of Minister Toure on the AU website: www.au.int).

H.E Mrs. Frederica Mogherini, The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission on her part said, the summit will be a key moment and opportunity to strengthen political and economic ties between the two continents as well as exchange views on investing in the youth for a sustainable future. She said the summit will provide a platform for both parties to take stock of the achievements and challenges regarding the implementation of the priority areas stipulated in the joint strategic partnership.

Mrs. Mogherini announced that leaders from the African Union and the European Union member States will come together on 29 November 2017 to listen to the calls of youth and give concrete answers to the issues hindering youth development in both continents. She further stated that the African and EU leaders will discuss the future of EU-Africa relations. 

Meanwhile, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cote d’Ivoire, H.E Mr. Marcel Amon-Tanoh welcomed all the participants of the joint AU-EU Ministerial meeting to Abidjan and wished them successful deliberations during the sessions.

Note to Editors:

At the African Union Summit held in Kigali (Rwanda) from 10 to 18 July 2016, Côte d'Ivoire was designated to host the 5th Africa-European Union (EU) Summit in 2017. This 5th Summit African Union - European Union serves as a platform for dialogue between African and European countries to boost the partnership between the two Parties and is held alternately on each continent.

This Summit is the third of its kind to be held on the African continent and the first of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa. Participants will discuss progress made in the implementation of the 2014-2017 action plan adopted at the previous Brussels Summit and the way forward for defining the Africa-EU Joint Strategy in the light of the new issues facing both continents.

It should be noted that the challenges of this Summit are important for both Africa and Europe as it will focus on the common challenges facing both continents, such as peace and security, inclusive and creative growth as well as employment for young people.

For more information contact:
Directorate of information and Communication, African Union Commission (AUC), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Media inquiry contact:
Esther Azaa Tankou, Head of Information Division, AUC, E-mail: yamboue@africa-union.org
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