Deputy Chairperson Kwesi Quartey meets Cuba’s Vice President as he concludes visit to Cuba

April 15, 2018

Deputy Chairperson Kwesi Quartey meets Cuba’s Vice President as he concludes visit to Cuba

Havana, Cuba; 15 April 2018: Ambassador Kwesi Quartey, the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission described his official visit to the Caribbean nation of Cuba as successful, as he concluded his visit on Sunday. The official visit largely focused on education and skills training, health and strengthening the historic ties between the African Union and Cuba.

During his visit, the Deputy Chairperson held official talks with Vice President of the Cuban Council of State Salvador Valdés Mesa. He also held other specialized meetings, separately, with Cuban Vice Ministers in the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Education and Public Health.

In the bilateral meeting with the Vice President, both leaders affirmed the African Union’s and Cuba’s commitment to strengthen their long standing relations and to further enhance cooperation in among others, the education and health sectors.

While conveying gratitude from the African Union to the Government of Cuba for the enormous support in the advent of the Ebola crisis, the continuous offer of medical assistance by Cuban Medical Brigade in several African states and the extension of scholarships to African students to study in Cuba, Amb. Kwesi at the same time called on Cuba to collaborate with the African Union to build on existing framework agreements and explore modalities of establishing training centres in Africa, to equip teeming youth with relevant skills and to harness the demographic dividends on the continent. “Cuba has excellent and very impressive education standards under the Cuban literacy program “Yo Sí Puedo” and this goes to demonstrate the government’s commitment to universal free education and therefore for us, as a continent that is keen on investing in its people for the prosperous Africa that we want, Cuba is a nation that we can learn from in terms of improving our education and healthcare systems,” the Deputy Chairperson stated.

Amb. Kwesi also briefed the Vice President on Agenda 2063 and recent signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the Protocol on Free Movement as well as launch of Single African Air Transport Market all aimed at boosting trade, investment, free movement of persons, and enhancing Africa's integration agenda.

On his part, Vice President Valdés Mesa acknowledged the African states support for successive resolutions which called for the lifting of US embargo against Cuba, and assured the African Union of Government of Cuba's support for AU’s Agenda 2063.

Amb. Kwesi also met and held fruitful discussions with the African group of Ambassadors in Cuba on among other key issues, the inclusion and active participation of the Africans in the diaspora in the realization of the aspirations of Agenda 2063, the African Common Position ahead of the ACP-EU negotiations and the need to consistently advance Africa’s interest globally.

The Deputy Chairperson’s delegation included his special Advisors and senior policy officers. Special Advisor Ambassador Jallow Sajo observed “I could summarize this visit as a fruitful mission. We can see great commitment from the African Union and Cuba to strengthen our historic relationship but also what is strikingly significant, are the prospects we have discussed to improve the livelihoods of every African. Investing in education, health and the security of the citizenry is of utmost importance.”

The Deputy Chairperson had on arrival to Cuba, visited Fidel Castro's mausoleum in Santiago de Cuba city, for a wreath laying and remembrance ceremony and later delivered the keynote address at the 17th International Conference focusing on African and Afro-American Culture.

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Doreen Apollos | Communication Advisor | Bureau of the Deputy Chairperson | E-mail: | Tel: +251 115182737

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