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EU-Africa Summit: President Barroso holds opening speech

Herman Van Rompuy, José Manuel Barroso and Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the UN

At today's opening of the EU-Africa Summit, President Barroso called the "presence and the richness of the agenda […] a real illustration of the vibrant partnership that exists between our two continents."

President Barroso furthermore said:

"History shows that people and countries prosper when they open up to the world, when they expand their trade, when they exchange ideas. Our partnership with Africa, like with any other partner, is constructed as a bridge and not as a barrier to more global cooperation. […] Our partnership with Africa is a partnership based on mutual respect – and I underline the word 'respect' – a partnership of equals. A partnership that is now more relevant than ever."

Switching into French, President Barroso made the following announcement:

"Sur les dix dernières années, nous avons mobilisé 1.2 milliard d’euros pour la Facilité de Paix pour l'Afrique. Et je suis heureux de pouvoir annoncer aujourd'hui que près de 800 millions d'euros seront mobilisables pour les trois prochaines années. Car si nous soutenons le principe de solutions africaines pour les problèmes africains, nous restons solidaires quand il s'agit de faire face à ses problèmes."

The 4th EU-Africa summit is taking place from 2-3 April in Brussels with leaders of 54 African countries and 28 EU countries.

Read the full speech