Leaders from the European Union and African Union agreed on Friday to renew their partnership and launch a €150 billion ($170 billion) worth investment package.
The European Union-African Union Summit is “something different,” an “opportunity for us to lay the groundwork for a renewed partnership,” Charles Michel, president of the European Council, told a news conference following the two-day meeting.
As the main achievement of the summit, the leaders agreed that the EU will mobilize €150 billion investment until 2030 to finance infrastructural projects, support education and entrepreneurship over the next seven years.
“As Africa sets sail for the future, the European Union wants to be Africa’s partner of choice,” said Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission.
She said the EU chose to cooperate first with Africa under its Global Gateway investment strategy since the bloc is the first trading partner and investor in Africa.
Von der Leyen explained that the leaders agreed on the main priorities of the investment during the summit, such as enhancing green transition and the use of renewables, building transport and connectivity networks, supporting sustainable agriculture, health care, and education.
“A stronger partnership means stepping up our joint fight against climate change,” she said, stressing that this generation has to act now for the well-being of the future ones.
She said Africa is rich in renewable power sources such as hydropower, solar power and wind power, and therefore “the world needs Africa.”
Von der Leyen also reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to delivering 450 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Africa by this summer.
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