Business News of 2014-03-24

EU-Africa summit to discuss sustainable growth

The issue of people and prosperity, which is key to both Africa and Europe, will take centre stage when Heads of State Government and institutions of the European Union (EU) and Africa, meet in Brussels, Belgium, from April 2 to 3 this year.

The leaders, who will be joined by a range of high-ranking international observers, will discuss how to foster human capital through education and training, including women and youth, by way of providing them with skills and knowledge to better qualify for the labour market.

Their discussions will also focus on the fact that both Africa and Europe need sustainable and inclusive growth to ensure their socio-economic development and consolidate their recovery from economic and financial crises.

Another important area the meeting will look at is peace, which is a precondition for human development and the safety of the people. The meeting, which is the fourth EU-Africa summit, is on the theme: “Investing in People, Prosperity and Peace”.

President John Dramani Mahama is expected at the meeting, where the President of the European Council, Mr Herman Van Rompuy, and the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, will represent the EU.

Addressing journalists at the weekend, the Head of the EU Delegation to Ghana and Ambassador, Mr Claude Maerten, said the summit would discuss how to create additional incentives for investment and find ways of stimulating growth that would create jobs, in particular, for young people and also look at the issue of promoting agricultural development.

He said the summit, which would illustrate how EU-Africa relations had evolved over the past years, was in line with the vision that both unions sought to share.

He said the meeting would provide the opportunity for the leaders to take stock of ongoing and future cooperation in the various fields covered by the Joint Africa-EU Strategy and also address issues relating to climate change and the post-2015 Development Framework.

Participating heads of state and unions are expected to adopt a political declaration after the meeting, which will address issues relating to EU-Africa relations and endorse other relevant documents.

The EU head mentioned some events which would precede the summit, adding that it was expected to come up with recommendations which were elaborated by different players in their fields of expertise and would be presented at the meeting.

He said those events included the fifth edition of the Africa-EU Business Forum in Brussels from March 31 to April 1 and the third Pan-African-European Parliamentary Summit in Brussels, from March 31 to April 1.

Present at the press briefing was the Chairman of the European Union Military Committee Working Group, Rear Admiral Jurgen Ehle.