Speaking from the Lisbon EU-Africa Summit, The Africa Progress Panel Chairman, Kofi Annan, reinforced the Summit’s unique opportunity to build and redefine the vital partnership between Europe and Africa – and welcomed the Portuguese initiative in bringing leaders of the two Continents together.
Speaking on behalf of the Panel, Mr Annan welcomed the leaders’ adoption of a Joint Strategy and First Action Plan. He emphasized the importance of continual dialogue between Africa and Europe and stressed that it was crucial that the EU and Africa both maintain momentum to deliver on existing promises, as well as those made during the Summit.
Reminding leaders that promises are about shared solutions, Mr Annan said:
“Africa - her development and prosperity are wholly in Europe’s interest. Africa as a whole is going in the right direction but looks to its international partners, like the EU, for support. The practical implementation of this weekend’s Summit outcomes should respect a partnership that allows Africa to lead its own development. Both continents have much to gain from finding mutual solutions to common challenges – such as climate change, immigration and global economic development.”
He also reminded leaders that a promise made should be a promise kept. He said:
“Accountability is very much at the heart of this weekend’s agenda and it is critical that leaders and civil society hold each other to account when it comes to delivering on pledges made, within agreed timeframes. The Africa Progress Panel looks forward to being part of that ongoing process.”
The Africa Progress Panel was launched in Berlin in April and Accra in June. Its members bring a unique set of skills and experience to the table. They have come together as an independent and authoritative body with a clear consensus to prompt Africa and its development partners to embrace the partnership adopted by the UN at the landmark summit in Monterrey in 2002 and commitments made in subsequent summits, including Gleneagles in 2005. The Africa Progress Panel has a clear remit - to work with both Africa and its development partners to encourage them deliver on their commitments.