Pres­i­dent says in­vest­ment in Africa will be of ben­e­fit to Europe too

Malta Independent - - NEWS - Re­becca Iversen

In­vest­ment in Africa will be of ben­e­fit to Europe too, Pres­i­dent Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca said on the last day of the Ar­raio­los con­fer­ence, which was held in Malta.

“We need to start in­vest­ing in Africa,” she said. Although Europe is happy to pump money into Africa, does one re­ally know where this money is go­ing? What sort of trans­parency and ac­count­abil­ity ex­ists with the funds be­ing given to Africa?

“We need to look at Africa as a con­ti­nent of op­por­tu­nity. Euro­peans colonised Africa and it was and still is a con­ti­nent of op­por­tu­nity,” the pres­i­dent ex­plained.

“We could make Africa a power house not just for Africa but for Europe too. A pow­er­house like that would also help to start com­bat­ing cli­mate change. We can start cre­at­ing green jobs for the young peo­ple of Africa and, yes, it will take a long time but it would also be a chance to em­power the women of Africa too,” she ar­gued.

“We need to be pop­u­lar in our coun­tries but we need to leave a legacy and be bold and coura­geous,” the pres­i­dent said as she ar­gued that refugees from Syria and other places need hu­man­i­tar­ian aid. More im­por­tantly the EU needs an ef­fec­tive in­clu­sive in­te­gra­tion pol­icy; oth­er­wise the ghet­tos will grow and fes­ter. “I do agree we need to man­age our bor­ders and se­cu­rity... but we have been the lead­ers and pro­mot­ers of hu­man rights too,” her Coleiro Preca said.

One third of mi­gra­tion flows in Europe are un­ac­com­pa­nied chil­dren. “Are you com­fort­able with this? I don’t think we should be at all,” the pres­i­dent con­cluded.

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