“It’s time to reinvest in the EU-Africa relationship. The success of policies and plans adopted at the upcoming African Union-EU Summit will, however, depend on the political will for speedy implementation and the commitment of the African leaders to the rule of law and good governance: without good governance, investments in youth or boosting trade will simply not be possible”, said Michael Gahler MEP, concluding the New Windhoek Dialogue meeting which this weekend brought together representatives of the African and European centre-right political parties, Members of the EPP Group as well as representatives of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.
During the two-day meeting, the participants discussed African Union-EU relations and jointly strategised on the main topics of the AU-EU Summit scheduled for November: investment in youth for accelerated and inclusive growth and sustainable development, trade and regional integration, migration and management across the borders, finances and investment, democracy, good governance and human rights.
“We agreed that deepened cooperation between Africa and Europe is of benefit to both continents. We hope that the upcoming summit will pave the way for a shift in relations between Europe and Africa from a relationship dominated by development assistance towards a relationship based on trade and investment and the engagement of the private sector from both continents”, continued Gahler. “Good governance is a pre-condition for development. Well-functioning financial and regulatory systems are key for attracting private investors and generating jobs for young people, who are the present and the future of the African continent”, he said.
The joint declaration adopted during the meeting sets a series of recommendations for the upcoming summit. It calls i.a for increased cooperation between African and European private sectors and for the concentration of investments in key sectors such as sustainable energy, basic infrastructure, and the sustainable use of natural resources and agriculture. The participants also encouraged the EU Member States to further explore the options for legal migration and called on African governments to enhance their cooperation on readmission and return.
12 African countries were represented at the meeting. The EPP Group delegation was composed of MEPs Michael Gahler, Bogdan Wenta, Željana Zovko, Frank Engel and Theodor Stolojan.