EU plan to boost Africa's growth, curb migration

Summit Wednesday in Abidjan. Objective is to mobilize 500 bn

27 November, 11:54

    BRUSSELS - Roughly 60% of Africa's population is under 25 years of age - a driving force for potential growth that is however in part migrating to Europe with Italy as the first country of arrival. And the need to invest in youths in Africa is at the top of the agenda of the fifth EU-African Union summit scheduled on November 29-30 in the Ivory Coast, which will gather heads of State and government from the European Union and African Union.
    Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni is scheduled to travel to the capital Abidjan, in the last leg of an African tour that will take him to Tunisia, Angola, Ghana and the Ivory Coast - a sign of the value Italy gives to relations with Africa. Other European leaders at the summit will include Emmanuel Macron, Mariano Rajoy and EU leaders Jean Claude Juncker, Donald Tusk, Antonio Tajani, Federica Mogherini. Angela Merkel has not yet been confirmed as a participant.
    The year 2017, also from Brussels' perspective, must end as a key year in relations between the two continents: the summit vies to define priorities as far as economic cooperation is concerned, the creation of jobs, security, the management of migrants and the fight against climate change.
    The European Parliament, with President Antonio Tajani, over the past few months has in particular stressed the need for a new EU-Africa partnership. Tajani organized over the past few days, ahead of the summit in Abijan, a conference with different 'playmakers' that will be in the Ivory Coast.
    ''Africa's problems are also Europe's problems - said Tajani -. The time has come to put Africa on top of the Union's agenda''. The proposal brought forward by Tajani is to push forward the investment fund for Africa to at least 40 billion in the next EU budget, from the current 33. The estimate in the EP is that, starting with these funds, thanks to joint efforts with the European Investment Bank, it is possible to mobilize public and private investments for some 500 billion.
    ''The continent's transition towards a sustainable industrial basis, an efficient agriculture, renewable sources, adequate infrastructure for water, energy, mobility, logistics or digital - concluded Tajani - need to be supported through a 'Marshall plan'. The European Union needs to contribute in its own interest''. 

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