Sisi participates in opening session of Africa-Europe High Level Forum
Tuesday، 18 December 2018 - 03:20 PM
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi participated on Tuesday 18/12/2018 in the inaugural session of the High-Level Africa-Europe Forum, currently held in Vienna, Austria in the presence of leaders and heads of governments of 49 European and African countries.
Participants in the opening session asserted the importance of consolidating partnership between the African continent and the European Union (EU), mainly in supporting innovation, technology transfer and increasing investments domains to secure more job opportunities in Africa and counter illegal migration.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said that the EU is willing to continue economic cooperation with Africa to support sustainable development in it, pointing out that the common challenges require boosting cooperation between both sides.
Kurz, whose country assumes the rotating presidency of the EU, added that Africa will always represent a key pillar for stability in Europe.
He noted that the European investments offer major employment opportunities in Africa, urging the Europeans to attach more importance to the African continent.
Addressing the inaugural session of the High-Level Africa-Europe Forum, Rwandan President Paul Kagame said that the Africa-Europe forum aims to foster relations between both sides and represents an extension of their cooperation in the sustainable development and partnership field.
The Rwandan president added that the African countries seek supporting technology and innovation and offering job opportunities for the youth, noting that cooperation between both sides is not limited to the anti-illegal migration efforts.
Africa's stability supports economy and stability in Europe, Kagame said, adding that Africa has become a source of opportunities for Europe more than being a source of threats to it.
Kagame asserted that the African economy has achieved a significant growth over the past period.
The African countries need to be more integrated with the European economies to improve their economic conditions and support sustainable development in Africa, Kagame affirmed.
President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker cited the long-term ties binding Africa and Europe, saying that the forum will give a strong push to EU-Africa relations.
He asserted the importance of developing cooperation between both sides in the fields of investments and trade, noting that Africa is one of the most important EU trade partners.
The EU seeks offering support to the small and medium-sized projects in Africa to secure job opportunities and boost the contribution of the African youth in the development plans funded by Europe, he said.
He praised the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area, expressing hope that a similar area would be established between Africa and Europe to serve their common interests.
Chairman of the African Union (AU) Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat stressed the commission's support for partnership between the African continent and the European Union (EU), saying that the forum represents an opportunity for discussing the joint cooperation files in various fields.
Mahamat said that the African countries are keen on working with the (EU) in trade and investment domains.
The African countries need to improve the living standards, increase the growth rates and offer job opportunities to be able to reduce illegal migration to Europe, Mahamat added.
He called on the Europeans to explore the investment opportunities in Africa.
For his part, President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani stressed the importance of cooperation between Africa and the EU in various domains.
The European countries can contribute to increasing the investment rates and offering job opportunities in the African countries, Tajani noted.
Tajani pointed out that developing manufacturing, agriculture, digital infrastructure domains in Africa is viewed as the cornerstone of the sustainable development and the African-European cooperation.
He urged the European and African countries to provide funding for the small and medium-sized projects and the young entrepreneurs, specially women.
Technology should be available for the small African investors to back investment and economic growth and confront illegal migration and climate changes via fostering partnership between the two continents, he said.