Gabriel travels to Abidjan for AU EU Summit
Enlarge image Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel in Côte d’Ivoire (© Florian Gaertner/photothek.net)
Foreign Minister Gabriel has travelled to Abidjan for the African Union-European Union Summit in the early hours of Tuesday morning (28 November). In Côte d’Ivoire’s capital, the Foreign Ministers will discuss issues that are crucial to developments in Africa and the EU. Items on their agenda include the fragile security situation in the Sahel region, as well as rapid population growth and humanitarian crises. This is already the fifth summit to be held between the EU and the AU.
Events in Africa have a direct impact on Europe
The unstable situation in the countries of the Sahel region has a direct impact on Europe. Weakened by terrorism and tribal conflicts, countries such as Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso and the Niger are at risk of becoming havens for human traffickers and armed militias. Germany has long been committed to bringing greater stability to the region. For example, the Federal Foreign Office is providing financial support for police training measures and for projects to promote reconciliation among rival ethnic groups
Focus on helping people to help themselves Enlarge image Police training in Mali (© Florian Gaertner/photothek.net)
At the summit in Abidjan, Foreign Minister Gabriel intends to advocate gearing the EU’s support in the Sahel region even more closely to people to help themselves. “We must ensure that these countries are able to prevent conflicts before they emerge in the first place”, said Gabriel. Germany intends to promote initiatives that help the countries in the region to achieve greater security themselves, such as a joint force for the Sahel countries Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and the Niger.
Promoting responsible investment
Enlarge image Rapid population growth: school children in Uganda (© Thomas Koehler/photothek.net) Economic prospects are also key to stable development. Populations on the African continent are growing rapidly. Harnessing the economic opportunities of this development and avoiding its risks is one of the most urgent challenges for the future. Representatives from the EU and the AU will therefore discuss joint measures to promote responsible investment, education and infrastructure.