President Thabo Mbeki to depart for European Union–Africa Summit
6 December 2007
Pretoria: South African President Thabo Mbeki will on Friday, 7 December 2007 depart for Lisbon, Portugal where he will join African and European Heads of State and Government at the second European Union–Africa Summit scheduled from Saturday 8 December 2007 to Sunday, 9 December 2007.
President Mbeki will attend this summit within the context of South Africa's priority to strengthen relations with the European Union with a view to the consolidation of the African Agenda and meeting the objectives of New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad). For its part, South Africa in October this year finalised the South Africa–European Union Strategic Partnership and participates in the EU's Trade and Development Co-operation Agreement (TDCA).
The African continent also has strong relations with Europe. In this regard, the EU is a major player in the development process of the African continent, an increase in the number of external partners, the introduction of new instruments and increased financial resources illustrate a vibrant contribution towards a Strategic Partnership between the two vast continents.
The Africa–EU Strategic Partnership aims to reduce and eventually eradicate poverty on the African continent through the support for sustainable economic, social and environmental development, promotion of the gradual integration of the developing countries into the world economy, sharing its own (EU) experiences regarding regional integration and a determination to combat inequality. The key focus will be on creating the necessary economic environment for development.
It is expected that Heads of State and Government will endorse the joint Africa–EU Strategy at the Summit. The Strategy is based on four pillars:
* peace and security
* good governance and human right
* trade and regional integration
* key development issues - focussing specifically on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); development co-operation; human and social development, gender equality, environmental sustainability and climate change, migration and development, agriculture and food security, infrastructure; water and sanitation, energy; development of knowledge-based societies; and cultural co-operation.
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Issued by: Department of Foreign Affairs
6 December 2007