Europe-Africa Forum New Deal marseille

End the language of wood and tackle real economic problems, change the way we view Africa and Africans, work together as equals, create bridges between European and African metropolises while working to improve the business climate, … the inaugural round The Europe-Africa Forum table set the tone for a series of rich debates, while setting the framework for what should govern relations between the continents of Europe and Africa : a New Deal demanded by leaders on both sides of the Mediterranean coast.

Define common chance »

The European Union (EU) is proposing a new partnership on the African continent in which Brussels makes more financial commitments including, in particular, the Global Gateway (its new approach to supporting global development). ) plus 50% of the funds – meaning 150 billion euros – are exclusively intended for projects and companies on the African continent, according to the EU Commission’s commitments. A response to China’s Silk Roads. If a certain skepticism prevails in Africa’s opinion about the New Deal proposed by Europe, Professor Carlos Lopes, economist and former Secretary-General of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, has given- emphasis on the need for paradigm change. “We need to leave the logic that always help will solve problems, these are common instances”did he declare.

industrialization of Africa, “una” New agreement

A logic firmly supported by Aminata Touré, former Prime Minister of Senegal. The only woman on the panel, she did not hesitate to point out “imbalances” which has long characterized the economic relationship between Europe and Africa, calling for “a new way of doing business”. “It’s no longer a question of investing in extractive industries, we’re taking over and we’re going to change elsewhere. This is the first New Deal to have is we’re doing business together in Africa, we’re changing in Africa, we’re making value chain in Africa, we employ Africans and we share income equally “, he hammered, pointing out who he was “So is Europe’s interest in doing business on the African continent”.

“Africa has 30% of the world’s minerals, 21% of gold production, 46% of diamond production, 75% of platinum production …, 60% of arable land. The future of global nutrition will be in Africa. And if Europe wants to cooperate with Africa, it may not happen like before. Aminata Touré, former Prime Minister of the Republic of Senegal.

Investing in the development of cities

While one of the immediate priorities in Africa following the Covid -19 pandemic and in the current context of the Ukrainian crisis remains industrialization, sometimes it seems to have been compromised by the great race towards decarbonization – the other root of the war. At this point, various speakers recalled that Africa remains a low emitter of greenhouse gases (GHG), considering that the continent – thanks especially to its forests – has solutions for other part of the world and specifically in Europe. At the city level, demographic growth is an asset and it is here that metropolises play an important role in the New Deal between Europe and Africa, according to Robert Beugré-Mambé, Minister of the Abidjan District Governor and General Secretary of the International Association of Francophone Mayors (AIMF), reminded that the continent of Africa is a low emitter of greenhouse gases (GHG).

“Africa is increasingly modernizing. In Côte d’Ivoire, for example, more than 50% of the population is urban. The same is true for Senegal and several other countries on the continent. The investment needs are enormous and infrastructure. And these are opportunities for Europe “he said, and added that this was one of the reasons for the actions of the Fund for the Development of Francophone Cities.

In this sense, Serge Ekué, president of BOAD, believes that “Elements of development related to agriculture, energy, infrastructure, health, education, real estate are the key words for this new New Deal agreement”.

Tech at the heart of the partnership

For Jean Van Wetter, Managing Director of Enabel Belgium, the relationship between Europe and Africa could have a new face thanks to technology. “I think modern Africans coming to Africa and not yet existing in Europe will go back to trends and conversations, because of the challenging context (young population full of ideas, fast demographics …)”, he said, citing the example of mobile money in Kenya and Tanzania (where he has lived for six years) that changed payment systems in Africa a decade ago. The head of the Belgian Development Agency supports the logic of “common challenge” who are currently leading the approach of Europeans, who believe it is important, in the current global context, to “To expect”.

Zlecaf, welcome!

While France holds the presidency of the European Union Commission this year, French Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire saw the New Deal proposed by Europe, “a disruptive economic partnership” considering the interests of European and African companies as these markets. For its part, the Council of French Investors in Africa (CIAN) aims to use the historical experience of French companies on the continent to carry out this transformation of economic relations between the two continents, which is gradually being welcomed. the giant market. set by the African Union (AU). “We need to increase markets and for that we need to create free trade zones. We fully support the African Continental Free Trade Area [Zlecaf, NDLR] »conclusion by Etienne Giros, Deputy Chairman of CIAN.