The priority of the Portuguese presidency of the EU, in 2021 will precisely be Africa”, she said.

“We take advantage for sure, of this enthusiasm which we are witnessing in relation to Africa, but it is necessary for us to work, to be able to capitalise that interest and to raise awareness so that Europe gets closer to Africa”, she added.

Ribeiro also pointed out the “geographical proximity” and the “historic relationship” between Europe and Africa and added that “private investment in Africa” is “essential.”

Partners should be mobilised to create a “complex, convergent network able to contribute, at all levels, to that effort that Africa wants to make in benefit of all its inhabitants”, she stressed.

She also noted that Africa “was and continues to be of great importance to Portugal’s foreign policy”, and that Portugal has developed an “enormous effort to mobilise all instruments that are relevant to its relationship with Africa”.

An example of that effort, she recalled the Compact for Development that Portugal’s government signed with the African Development Bank, Angola, Mozambique, Cabo Verde and São Tome and Principe, which involves €400 million in the state budget for 2019.