EU-Africa summit held; EU to grant Mauritius Euro 4 million for green projects
The amount is being sanctioned for the National Indicative Programme related to the energy sector, for the sustainable use of ethanol in the production of energy. (Image: European Council)
Mauritius will be granted Euro 4 million for green projects, according to discussions held between Mauritius Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam and EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs at the sidelines of the 4th EU-Africa Summit, held in Brussels from 2 April 2-3, 2014.
The amount is being sanctioned for the National Indicative Programme related to the energy sector, for the sustainable use of ethanol in the production of energy.
Navin Ramgoolam and the EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, also held talks on the cooperative ties between Mauritius and the EU, abolition of sugar quota by 2017 and other important issues for the future of the island economy.
The Prime Minister stood strongly in favour of corrective measures for the most affected countries by the decision concerning the abolition of sugar quota by the EU, which will be effective as from 2017.
With the abolition of sugar quotas, countries such as Mauritius will face serious repercussions, as the price of sugar dips sharply.
Andris Piebalgs promised to support Mauritius during the transition period in the wake of the abolition of sugar quota and assured that corrective measures would be taken to mitigate its impact on the cane industry and Mauritian economy.
Regarding climate change, Navin Ramgoolam stressed that Small Island Developing States (SIDS) like Mauritius remain highly vulnerable.
Besides the Mauritius Prime Minister, Foreign Affairs minister Arvin Boolell and other officials from Mauritius were also present at the EU-Africa Summit.
Under the theme “Investing in People, Prosperity and Peace,” discussions were focused on education and training, women and youth, legal and illegal migrant flows between both continents, ways to stimulate growth and create jobs, investing in peace and ways to enhance EU support for African capacities to manage security on the continent.
EU leaders highlighted the opportunities posed by the African continent.
According to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, it is important for European countries to see the opportunities offered by the African continent rather than only the problems. She called for cooperation to allow more trade, investment and empowerment, thus enabling Africans to solve their problems.
EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy expressed the hope that the summit would mark a new stage in the relationship between the EU and Africa and that it was time for a “shift from development cooperation to a partnership of equals with trade and investment playing a key role.”
However, Zimbabwe was conspicuous by its absence at the summit, as President Robert Mugabe chose not to attend the event.
The 2014 summit was an opportunity to take a fresh look at the EU-Africa partnership, to highlight some of the results that have been achieved, and to explore areas for future cooperation.
Previous EU-Africa Summits were held in Cairo in 2000, Lisbon in 2007 and Tripoli in 2010.