Africa, South America explore improved co-operation

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs from Africa and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) gathered in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea this week, for talks on the proper functioning of the Africa-South America Partnership, under the theme: “Strategies and Mechanisms to strengthen South-South Cooperation”.

Discussions were set to focus on the implementation of the Africa-South America Action Plan for the period 2013-2016; the setting up of the presidential strategic committee; and the establishment of institutional mechanisms required for the financing of ASA project/progammes.

Contextualizing the ASA partnership in his opening remarks, Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), explained that the partnership falls within the framework of the South-South Cooperation, underpinned by political solidarity and inspired by the shared historical background and common aspirations of the two regions. “The success of our common desire is translated into concrete projects to be realized and areas of mutual interests clearly defined to propel the partnership to greater heights for mutual benefit of our peoples of the two Continents”. He noted.

He highlighted the areas of mutual interest including improving trade and investment prospects between Africa and South America; education; agriculture; energy and Infrastructure; social justice; inclusive social policies by mainstreaming the effective participation of youths, civil society and gender groups. Both regions, he said, recognize the need to join hands in fighting common challenges such as drug trafficking and human smuggling, terrorism in all its forms, piracy, mercenarism, and other transnational organized crime, in order to promote peace and security across the continents.

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