European Commission explores new Africa alliance for jobs and trade

By Maxwell Awumah

Hohoe, Sept 13, GNA – The European Commission
is considering a proposal aimed at forging a new alliance with Africa that will
create up to 10 million jobs.

The EU-AU partnership will clamour for full
continent-to-continent free trade agreement as an economic venture.

Mr Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the
European Commission, who was delivering his annual state of the union speech to
the European Parliament, which was copied to the Ghana News Agency on
Wednesday, said a framework will be set up to attract more investment into
Africa.

‘‘Today, we are proposing a new Alliance for
Sustainable Investment and Jobs between Europe and Africa, that would help
create up to 10 million jobs in Africa in the next 5 years alone,’‘ Juncker
said.

hile he will be stepping down from his role in
a year’s time, Juncker indicated that in the future, the EU would seek to take
advantage of Africa’s efforts to forge a free trade area within the continent
by offering a continent-to-continent free trade agreement.

‘‘I believe we should develop the numerous
EU-African trade agreements into a continent-to-continent free trade agreement,
as an economic partnership between equals.”

Nigeria, Eritrea and Guinea Bissau are the
only three African countries that are yet to make any commitment to the African
Union’s Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), signed in March this year.

Among various proposals for EU action to
bolster prosperity in the world’s poorest continent and Europe’s close
neighbour, the Commission chief would call for a more equal partnership and
investment rather than aid, as Europeans look for ways to stem an economic
divide driving Africans to try to migrate northward.

‘‘Africa does not need charity, it needs true
and fair partnership. And we, Europeans need this partnership just as much, ’‘
Juncker said.

The EU has previously said they will be
shifting from an aid-centered approach to a real partnership with Africa, as a
means to manage migration and prevent radicalisation of Africa’s young people.

GNA

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