EU steps up investments in Africa to counter China

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The Africa-Europe Investment Package of EUR 150 billion (USD 170 billion), announced during the summit, also supports a common ambition for 2030 and AU Agenda 2063….reports Asian Lite News

European Union recently pledged a USD 170 billion aid package to African countries with the aim to counter growing Chinese influence in Africa, a media report said.

Last month, the heads of state or government of the member states of the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU) met for the sixth European Union – African Union summit in Brussels.

During the summit, EU and AU leaders agreed on a joint vision for a renewed partnership. According to an official readout, this partnership aims to promote security, peace, and sustainable and sustained economic development and prosperity for the citizens of the two Unions.

It aims to promote common priorities, shared values, and international law. This also includes the protection of human rights for all, gender equality, and women’s empowerment in all spheres of life.

The Africa-Europe Investment Package of EUR 150 billion (USD 170 billion), announced during the summit, also supports a common ambition for 2030 and AU Agenda 2063.

Notably, the summit came a few months after the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Meeting.

During the Africa-China summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping had pledged about USD 40 billion worth of investments for Africa, a third less than Beijing’s previous commitments. Even with regard to the Chinese loans, there was a significant drop in the number compared to the previous years, The HK Post reported.

According to the report, Chinese loans amounted to USD 7.6 billion in 2019 as compared to USD 29.5 billion in 2016. During the summit, Xi had underlined Europe’s colonial history with Africa and in contrast noted that “over the past 65 years, China and Africa had forged unbreakable fraternity in our struggle against imperialism and colonialism”.

Experts believe that the latest EU assistance is a part of the Global Gateway Initiative (GGI) that was unveiled by the EU last year as an alternative to the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Back in December, Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen had said the European Commission (EC) is launching USD 340-billion Global Gateway to boost sustainable links around the world.

According to the official document, the new strategy aims at boosting the world’s interconnectivity through building and strengthening of high standard sustainable digital, economic, transportation, research, and health systems across the world.

The European Commission added that for implementing the strategy, the European Union would use the so-called “team Europe” approach, encouraging member states with their financial and development institutions, including the European Investment Bank to mobilize the private sector in order to leverage investments for a transformational impact. (ANI)

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