4 April 2014

Africa: Frankness Characterised EU-Africa Summit - Guebuza

Brussels — Mozambican President Armando Guebuza on Thursday described the 4th European Union-Africa Summit, held in Brussels, as characterised by an atmosphere of greater frankness between the two continents, so that the many existing problems can find answers within the possibilities of each side.

The cooperation between the EU and Africa was already very good, said Guebuza, but after the sharp debates during the summit, he thought it would become even better,

Speaking at a press conference marking the end of his visit to Belgium, Guebuza cited, by way of example, the desire expressed by the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, to increase support for Mozambique to 700 million euros (959 million US dollars). However, the dates and shape of this increase in aid have yet to be established.

The two day summit, held under the motto “Investing in Peace, Prosperity and in Peoples”, was positive, Guebuza said, in that the two continents spoke with one voice of the need to find means of bringing themselves closer together and making use of mutual knowledge.

The approach to questions, he added, was positive rather than negative and problematic, in search of appropriate ways for the continents to support each other, in order to prevent concerns over migration, for example, from becoming a problem for the continent.

More schools and more jobs were needed, Guebuza said, to give Africa the capacity to move towards a balanced social development. The existing problems should be treated as common to both continents, and should be dealt with jointly - as examples of such problems, he cited unemployment, migration, and the instability in several African countries such as the Central African Republic and Sudan.

Guebuza added that he had met with the new Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, and the two men had spoken of the need to strengthen still further the excellent relations between Mozambique and Italy.

To this end a delegation of Italian politicians and businessmen will soon visit Mozambique to explore the possibilities of increased investment, through the Italian oil and gas company ENI, and other companies already operating on the Mozambican market.

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