Edition 1453
09 December 2017
Edition: 1453

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NGOs call for people to be focus of EU-Africa summit

by TPN/ Lusa, in News · 30-11-2017 12:57:00 · 0 Comments

Migration, security, private investment and trade regulation are among key themes for the summit between the European Union and African Union that is scheduled to take place at the end of this week, according to Portuguese non-governmental organisations, which stressed the need to ensure that proceedings are driven by people’s welfare.

“CONCORD [the European Confederation of NGO Platforms and Networks], of which we are a part, drafted a document addressed both to the European Union and to the African Union that establishes a range of messages divided into five themed points and which are based on two transversal axes,” Pedro Krupenski, president of the Portuguese Platform of Non-Governmental Organisations for Development (ONGD), told Lusa News Agency.
The fifth EU-AU summit, whose central theme is ‘Investing in Youth for a Sustainable Future’ is to take place in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. It is the first such summit to take place in sub-Saharan Africa.
“One of the themed axes indicates that the whole partnership to be reaffirmed between these two blocs should, as the Platform argued in the building of the United Nations’ 2030 agenda, be based on the centrality of people and the planet,” Krupenski said.
“The other axis is a kind of warning, calling attention to the focus of the strategy and of the funds allocated to this strategy in the interest of both parties, and not leaving open … the possibility, namely through public development aid, of there being some [funds] diverted to serve the interests of the European Union more than the people of the African continent.”
In its submissions, Concord highlighted migration as among the key issues for discussion.
“The migrants who reach Europe are the tip of the iceberg in relation to the problems of displacements that take place within the African continent,” noted Krupenski. “There’s a need both with the EU and with the AU to join forces to deal with internal displacements in Africa and, obviously, find the causes of these.”
On security, he said that the EU and some African states have been working on the basis of closing frontiers rather than seeking to keep people safe and protect human rights.
“To guarantee human security, there is a need for there to be the promotion of democracy and inclusive governance, with the rights of women, among other points,” he said.
Meanwhile, private investment in African countries should not be done “at any cost”, Krupenski stressed. It should be aimed at “promoting social cohesion, strengthening local economies and avoiding the errors that were made on the European continent.”
It is also necessary to regulate trade between Europe and Africa, including fiscal matters, so as to avoid tax evasion by multinational companies that work in Africa, he said.

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Edition 1453
09 December 2017
Edition: 1453

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter