Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé)

1 April 2014

Africa: 4th EU-Africa Summit - All Set for the Event

Progressive and steady are the adjectives that best describe the level of preparedness in Brussels, Belgium, ahead of the 4th European Union (EU)-Africa Summit which will begin tomorrow April 2, 2014. The summit, which is expected to bring together African and EU leaders, as well as the leaders of EU and African Union institutions, will focus on the theme "Investing in People, Prosperity and Peace".

European Union officials in Brussels say they are progressing with preparations to mark the up-coming summit. In Brussels, several meetings of the steering committee on the organisation of the summit have already taken place. Such meetings, which are geared towards a hitch-free summit, will end today April 1st. Visible signs of readiness for the summit were seen yesterday March 31, along the Residence Palace Avenue down town Brussels where the summit ground is found. the Hellenic Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the International Press Conference building will be the focal points of events on the Summit tomorrow.

The entrance to the Hellenic Presidency of the Council of the European Union is receiving a special facelift to ease movement of people in and out of the building. Each door of the main entrance of the building carries an identification paper. On these doors, one can easily read; "Press Entrance" and on another side "Delegation". Security machines to screen those who enter the summit ground have already been put in place with few security agents moving around the premises.

Several journalists, mostly Africans can be seen moving in and out of the building to have their media accreditation to cover the event. At the entrance of the Press Conference is written Current Event: Summit EU-Africa with general information which reads, "Media accreditation is granted exclusively to members of the press working for bona fide media organisations. Access to the press facilities will be given exclusively to individuals who are accredited. Badges are strictly personal".

Some disgruntled journalists, who for one reason or another did not properly carryout the on-line registration to cover the event could not be given badges. Although these journalists tried to convince the press officials about their on-line registration, they were told to bring their press card and a letter from their country's embassy in Belgium which permits them to cover the event.

From all indication things are moving on as planned considering that some so far 48 African countries have confirmed their participation of which 41 are represented at the level of the Head of State and Government. Also, 28 states of the European Union will attend the event of which 23 are represented at the level of the Head of State and Government

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