“Our relations are strategically relevant to both sides”

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EU-Africa Summit “Our relations are strategically relevant to both sides”

The European Union and the African Union agreed on a renewed partnership at a summit meeting. Climate protection, global health, peace and security: “Europe and Africa can only respond to the great questions of our time by means of joint action,” said Federal Chancellor Scholz. Earlier, there was an informal meeting between the heads of state and government on the Ukraine conflict.

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Opening ceremony of the European Union and African Union Summit.

Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz attended the EU-Africa Summit in Brussels.

Photo: European Union

“Europe has made a sincere offer of cooperation to the states of the African Union. We’re seeking to raise a total of 20 billion euros per year for this purpose,” said Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Friday after the summit of the European Union and the African Union in Brussels. The aim is to create incentives so as to attract a lot of additional private investment.

The so-called Global Gateway Investment Package worth 150 billion euros up to 2027 aims to support Africa in pursuing a green and digital recovery and transformation. The package amounts to 36.8 billion euros from the EU budget, 53.4 billion euros via loan guarantees and around 20 billion euros provided by individual member states. This public investment is to be expanded with the addition of private investment.

We can only defeat the pandemic together

The Federal Government is participating “substantially with its own initiatives”, said Scholz. Germany was a reliable partner in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, he noted, and was the second largest donor to the ACT Accelerator, having contributed 2.2 billion euros.

As part of “Team Europe”, Germany would also make its contribution to achieving the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) vaccination target of 70 percent, the Federal Chancellor stressed. To this end, 700 million doses of vaccine are to be distributed by the end of the year, mainly through the global COVAX initiative, a large part of which will go to African countries. “Of the approximately 114 million doses we donated, more than 40 million doses of vaccine have already reached our African partners,” said Scholz, adding that Team Europe had also provided a further 29 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Scholz said he was also confident that local vaccine production in Africa would pick up significantly this year thanks to the substantial support being provided. Biontech had demonstrated this week how this could be enabled in concrete terms, in cooperation with South Africa, Ghana, Rwanda and Senegal, said Scholz.

Focus on climate policy and other issues

In terms of the areas for a renewed partnership, Scholz mentioned climate protection and global health, as well as issues such as security and migration. With Germany being the current holder of the G7 Presidency, Scholz said at the end of the summit that he had particularly encouraged African partners to support the establishment of an open Climate Club and to become involved in it. “This is what we need if we are to tackle the great global task of climate change together.”

The African Union is the most important association of African states. It was founded in 2002 and is based in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. With its 55 members, it covers the entire African continent. The AU is committed to political, economic and social cooperation in Africa.

Consultations on the Ukraine conflict

In the run-up to the EU-Africa Summit, an informal meeting of heads of state and government took place on the Ukraine conflict. When asked about this after the summit, the Federal Chancellor once again stressed that the situation was “very critical”. Russia had built up its military forces on the border with Ukraine to such an extent that it was sufficient to wage war against Ukraine, said Scholz. This situation had not changed, he noted.

Scholz once again referred to the “dual strategy”: on the one hand, a military invasion of Ukraine would have serious consequences, while on the other hand, the attempt would be made to avoid this situation through dialogue. The parties concerned were “very much in agreement” on this, he said.