Friday, 7 December 2007
European and African leaders will seek to forge a fresh partnership to tackle issues like trade, immigration and peacekeeping this week when they hold their first summit in seven years. Pressed by China's growing investment and influence in Africa, EU leaders hope to reinforce ties with the world's poorest continent by improving cooperation on several fronts and moving away from dependence-inducing aid. EU president Portugal says the EU-Africa summit is long overdue -- the last was held in Cairo in 2000. Rapid growth in many parts of Africa holds out the hope that the continent is now on a sustainable development path. That should encourage Europe to view Africa as an investment opportunity and not just a recipient of aid.
The Dec. 8-9 2007 summit will focus on five main issues: governance and human rights, peace and security, migration, energy and climate change, and trade.
Portugal, which holds the EU's rotating presidency, wants the Europe-Africa summit to herald a period of closer cooperation between the 27-nation EU and the 53-member African Union and counter the influence of China, which has invested billions of euros (dollars) in developing African countries in recent years.
- 52 Member States of the African Union;
- Kingdom of Morocco;
- African Commission;
- 27 Member States of the European Union;
- European Commission;
- General-Secretariat of the Council of the EU
EU-Africa Summit website