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S&Ds: EU-Africa summit must be the first step to a policy shift in our partnership

Date

21 Feb 2022

Sections

Global Europe

After two days of meetings between EU and African leaders, the S&D Group in the European Parliament reiterates the need for a new equal partnership that allows African countries to develop sustainable and decent jobs, investing in health and education. Our Group remains at the forefront in the effort to strengthen democracy, rule of law and human rights across the whole continent.

The S&D coordinator in the committee on development, Udo Bullmann MEP, said:

"The S&D Group welcomes the announcement on the sharing of some of the most modern technology for vaccines, not only as a tool to fight Covid-19 but as a strategic approach to deal with other diseases like malaria, tuberculosis and hopefully cancer. This is key for resolving vaccine inequality, which is still harming our current fight against the pandemic, while posing a risk to our partnership with Africa.

“Around five years and many delays after the last EU-Africa Summit, it is a great accomplishment that this high-level meeting could finally take place. Regarding the multi-dimensional crises of our time, European and African leaders must now push for a much-needed policy shift towards global sustainable equality. To combat the pandemic and its aftermath, we must support Africa with real access to vaccines and strong healthcare systems. But we must also invest in education and social security to address the consequences of three years of pandemic in our partner countries.

“The Global Gateway Initiative should focus on this direction and the Africa Investment Package outlines an important path for the future. We need strong investment in infrastructure and people alike to finally reinvent Africa not only as exporter of natural resources, but also as a producer of high-quality agricultural and industrial products and services. We must make sure that more supply chain steps – and with that decent jobs – remain in Africa.

“To create sustainable growth we must first build strong and resilient societies. Europe has to strengthen the peace processes and support democratic structures on the ground. Additionally, our development and fair trade agenda must focus even more on social equality and security to help build resilience and stability.”

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