“Marshall Plan for Africa needed” – Tajani; “African countries are equal partners” – Muscat

DOI / Clodagh Farrugia O'Neill

President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani said that a Marshall Plan for Africa worth €50bn in the EU budget was needed. Tajani was addressing the EU-Africa summit which was held in Vienna on Tuesday. The EP President explained that it was by creating opportunities for young Africans that migration flows to Italy and Europe can be stopped.

Tajani stated that it was only by substantially increasing investment that the African economy would be stimulated to grow and create the employment opportunities necessary to absorb the demographic growth of the continent. He then emphasized on the need to give concrete answers to young people by offering employment opportunities and decent living conditions.

Tajani also spoke of the need to strengthen the ties between the two continents, promoting growth and creating opportunities both in Africa and in Europe.

Muscat attends EU-Africa summit, holds bilateral meeting with President el-Sisi

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela and Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship Julia Farrugia Portelli also attended the EU-Africa Summit. In a statement the Government remarked that the discussion between the two continents showed that there was a change in tone and that it was holistic between the two blocs, recognizing each other as a valuable partner.

Muscat stressed that the migration was still a central issue to the discussions. He stressed on the need to recognise African countries as partners and equals when discussing.

Muscat also spoke of the possible opportunities which Africa represents for Malta. He explained that it was incorrect to believe that African countries were not interested in technology, saying that African countries adopted technology at a later stage but are investing in advance technology. He remarked that it represented a market for the Maltese, given that Malta has certain regulatory frameworks such as blockchain.

The Government also explained its rationale behind establishing the High Commissioner in Ghana, saying that it sought to foster and develop trade relations with other African countries. Muscat said that they had already received positive feedback.

The Prime Minister also held a bilateral meeting with the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in which they discussed the situation in the Mediterranean region in particular the situation in Libya.

The Prime Minister, Foreign Affairs Minister and Parliamentary Secretary attended a reception at the Maltese Embassy to Austria to mark the occasion of Republic Day. Muscat thanked the Maltese Ambassador to Austria Natasha Meli Daudey for her work.

The EU-Africa summit was held in Vienna on the initiative of the Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Rwandan President Paul Kagame.