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President emphasises Europe-Africa collaboration, great African potential

President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca highlighted belief that education key to African prosperity, consultation process with Europe needed to fulfil democratic goals for Africa

massimo_costa
Massimo Costa
20 November 2017, 3:57pm
President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca emphasised the huge potential of Africa's young workforce in an address at a discussion organised by the United Nations International Development Organisation
President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca emphasised the huge potential of Africa's young workforce in an address at a discussion organised by the United Nations International Development Organisation
Africa was a very large emerging market with a young workforce which gave it a very significant degree fof potential, President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca said, and Europe and Africa should be regarded as two complementary continents, instead of seeing Africa as an impossible challenge for Europe.

Speaking at a discussion organised by the United Nations International Development Organisation, marking Africa Industrialisation Day, Coleiro Preca said she hoped that the discussion, which was taking place on the eve of the African-EU Summit, taking place in Abidjan, would serve to push government authorities, the private sector and civil society on the two continents to work together.

“I hope that these discussions will bring mutual benefit, in particular to young African people to improve their opportunities for education, vocational training, and subsequent job opportunities,” President Coleiro Preca said.

Noting that Africa, although it had large resources, would need effective strategic partners to help it develop its full potential in an effective and sustainable way, the President said that the first investment African countries need is that we genuinely invest in the dignity of African people. Africa has to be seen with an African vision, and not only from the point of view of Europe’s interests.

Coleiro-Preca said that she was hopeful that the African-EU Summit would result in a sense of commitment towards the prosperity of Africa from all sides involved, and that it would bring back to life the intention for there to be an ongoing process of dialogue between Africa and Europe, together with a serious action-plan, including effective and targeted deadlines for its implementation.

Calling for the opening of a full democratic process of consultation, which allowed African countries to have their voice heard, the President said that this would be a way of Europe fulfilling its democratic aspirations for the continent.

The President also said that education was key to prosperity in Africa, as she referred to the 4th Sustainable Development Goal of the United Nation’s Agenda 2030, which highlights the importance of education. A good collaboration between our governments and the private sector was necessary to identify what was needed in terms of further education and training, she maintained.

Also speaking of business and trade collaboration, Coleiro Preca said that African business has an urge to find collaborations and strategic partnerships which lead to mutual growth and prosperity, and she could attest to this first hand through her recent state visits to African nations.

Regarding the creation of jobs, the President emphasised her opinion that Africa can become a very important source of millions of green jobs in the process of climate change mitigation and adaptation. Africa could clearly, due to its climatic characteristics, become an ideal model for alternative energy use, she said

“I truly dream, for example, of the Sahara Desert becoming a powerhouse for Africa and probably for a large part of Europe”, the President maintained, as she remarked that such a project could address the issue of CO2 emissions, and would create jobs for young Africans while supplying the continent with electricity and water,

In conclusion, the President praised the work of UNIDO, Global Africa, the African Union and other collaborators for bringing Africa’s prosperity needs to the forefront.

massimo_costa
Massimo Costa joined MaltaToday in 2017 as a journalist. He is a graduate in European Stud...