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African and European leaders at the EU-Africa Summit in Brussels, 2014. The balance sheet of the forum since its inauguration in 2000 shows that not much has been achieved in the form of a mutually-beneficial partnership especially / Photo: © The European Union

Libyan migration crisis likely to dominate Africa-EU summit

The recent CNN report showing African migrants being traded as slaves in Libya has sparked an international outcry and will likely dominate this week’s African-EU summit in Cote d’Ivoire, report Nikolaj Nielsen and Caterina Tani (EUobserver).

The EU is aiming to launch a new and more profound relationship with Africa as leaders gather in Côte d’Ivoire this week. The two-day EU-Africa summit kicks off on Wednesday (29 November) in Abidjan with a focus on youth and jobs.

Some 55 African leaders and their counterparts from the 28 EU member states are set to attend a summit described by one EU senior official as an effort to manage the continent’s future demography.

With a population set to double by 2050, Africa is the only continent where young people outnumber and will continue to outnumber the old. Some 60 percent of the African population is under the age of 25.

“This offers a lot of opportunities but also poses a lot of challenges, challenges that we can better manage together,” one senior EU official told reporters.

The EU is hoping the private sector will invest in the continent through a so-called external investment plan.

A second senior EU official described the investment plan as the EU’s flagship proposal for the summit.

The plan mixes development aid to reduce investment risk in the hopes of leveraging some €44 billion on top of the EU’s initial €4 billion.

The EU will expect African states to devote a larger percentage of their GDP to education with extra emphasis on girls.

“Girls and young women, and women in general, are the beating heart of Africa, and I think also of Europe,” said the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini.

“Migration will also be discussed, as will good governance, and topics on peace and security.”

READ ALSO EU-Africa Summit 2017 holds in Abidjan



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