Louis Michel, European Union Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, has called on Africa to seek mutually beneficially partnership with Europe in trade and investment for a win-win situation for the two continents.
Speaking at the closing of the two-day 2nd EU-Africa Business Forum here Friday, ahead of the July 9th Ordinary African Union (AU) summit, he pledged Europe’s continued support for African governments on infrastructure development and good governance.
Michel, who announced a 90-million-Euro facility for investment infrastructure in Africa, said the continent must commit itself to ensuring a vibrant economic partnership based on good governance and devoid of corruption.
“We are not here to practice conditionalities, but to build conducive environments and encourage resource for investment,” he added.
The EU Commissioner also called for the removal of suspicions on European development assistance, and advocated positive discrimination to reduce the level of dumping.
Maxwell Mkwezalamba, AU Commissioner for Economic Affairs, said plan was afoot to establish the African Central Bank at Abuja, Nigeria, an African Investment Bank in Tripoli, Libya, and the African Monetary Fund in Yaounde, Cameroon.
He said these were aimed at facilitating intra-African trade and investment, curbing the rising cost of doing business, as well as the long periods of processing licences and problems of access to credit.
Recommendations adopted by the forum on four thematic areas – entrepreneurship, ICT, infrastructure and trade – underlined good governance and the development of local capacity.