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$625 million for infrastructure in Africa

South-African Foreign minister, Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini-Zuma has announced in Paris the creation of funds worth $625 million aimed at developing infrastructure in Africa.

Speaking during the African Union/African Diaspora Regional consultative conference, Zuma said that the fund would come from public and private capital exclusively African.

“The money allocated to the special funds would be provided by institutions and the African states,” she said, before specifying the criteria for selection of projects that would be funded.

“The funds would give priority to common infrastructures in various States. It is aimed at accelerating regional integration. We need a continent capable of taking in hand its destiny,” Dlamini-Zuma stressed.

She urged the African Diaspora to be involved more efficiently in addressing African challenges.

“The Fathers of Independence, like Kwamé N’krumah and Modibo Keita had stressed in the past the important place of the African Diaspora in the building of Africa,” recalled Dlamini-Zuma.

She said the African Union has taken responsibility for this view by considering the Diaspora as an essential pillar for building of Africa in collaboration with the regionial organisations.

Some 400 delegates representing the African Diaspora in Europe discussed on Tuesday and Wednesday the participation of Africans living outside Africa, in the building of their continent.

Titled “Toward the realisation of a united and integrated Africa and its Diaspora”, the meeting is also due to prepare the special summit of the African Union on the African Diaspora scheduled in April 2008 in South Africa.

After the general debate Tuesday during a plenary session, African representatives living in Germany, Spain, Portugal and France would split into seven thematic commissions including a commission on “World dialogue, international relations, peace and security”.

Another commission will discuss the economic cooperation and sustained development and the third one will examine issues concerning women and children.

Participants would also discuss knowledge-sharing, plus health and handicap problems before adopting late Wednesday several recommendations addressed to the ministerial conference to meet in November to prepare the special summit on the Diaspora.


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