23 February 2013

Africa: Jonathan Calls for Establishment of ASA Secretariat

Malabo — President Goodluck Jonathan in Malabo on Friday called for the establishment of a secretariat for the Africa-South-America (ASA) Summit.

Jonathan made the call in an address at the third Africa-South America Summit, saying that the establishment of the secretariat would consolidate the various institutions that would drive the collaboration.

He said it would also help to place the regions at an 'advantageous position' in the wider context of multi-lateral engagements.

"I urge that the secretariat be established without further delay.

"It is not enough to have the Strategic Presidential Committee play the role of an interim secretariat when we have already agreed to establish a permanent secretariat at our previous summit," he said.

Jonathan described Africa and South America as two regions of 'immense possibilities'.

He urged the leaders of two continents to take advantage of the summit to give further impetus and practical expression to South-South cooperation which the continents had long been engaged in.

The president lauded President Obiang Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea for hosting the summit, especially when the prospect of having the meeting faced some challenges.

He described the theme of the summit, "Strategies and Mechanism to Strengthen South-South Cooperation", as 'a welcome reminder' of the objectives which the two regions had set for themselves when the partnership was established.

Nigeria hosted the first edition of the summit in June 2006 and Venezuela hosted the second edition in 2009.

However, since 2009, efforts to host the summit proved abortive. Equatorial Guinea made a fruitless effort to host the summit in 2012. NAN

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