EU Poised to Provide US$170B to Africa

— Weah Graces EU-Africa Summit to make Liberia’s case

The sixth EU-Africa summit is currently underway in the European Capital of Brussels in Belgium, where the leadership of the European Union (EU) has invited African leaders to deliberate on a new partnership between both continents with focus on the EU new development plan for Africa, known as Global Gateway Africa (GGA).

The Global Gateway Africa is Europe’s latest investment package that aims to support the people of Africa for what it terms as a strong, inclusive, green and digital recovery and transformation.

The Head of the European Union Delegation to Liberia, Laurent Delahousse, disclosed at a media interaction in Monrovia on February 17 that the GGA has a budget package of 150 billion euros (US$170 billion). 

Though Ambassador Delahousse did not reveal what is in the EU’s investment package for Liberia, he expressed optimism that the country would benefit hugely. 

President George M. Weah, along with other top government officials, are already in Brussels to make Liberia’s case, the Executive Mansion has said. 

He joined other African leaders, including Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone, Macky Sall of Senegal and others, at the two-day summit, from February 17-18 2022. 

The summit is hosted by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, who will represent the EU together with the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von Der Leyen and the President of the rotating presidency, Emmanuel Macron.  

The summit, held under the theme, “Africa and Europe: A Joint Vision for 2030”, focuses on four key objectives: to include building a new partnership between Africa and Europe based on the unique relationship between the two continents in all sectors; cementing the principles for the future partnership with respect to security, solidarity, sustainability and transparency; to expedite recovery beyond the pandemic to promote prosperity and sustainable growth in Africa; and lastly to promote an ambitious large-scale investment package in Africa.

To ensure concrete deliverables, instead of a traditional plenary format, EU and Africa Union heads of state or government will be participating in seven thematic roundtables, together with a selected group of external guests who are experts in their respective fields, according to the organizer.

Top areas for the roundtable sessions, according to the organizer, include financing for sustainable and inclusive growth, climate change and energy transition, digital and transport, peace, security and governance, private sector support and economic integration, education, agriculture, health, and others.  

Though African leaders are said to be gracing the summit, it comes at a difficult time where the world is faced with a pandemic, Covid-19.  

Ambassador Delahousse said the current summit was due in 2020 but was delayed due to the Coronavirus, which is still ravaging the world and economies. This is one of the major summits in the world that takes place physically since Covid-19 was declared pandemic.  

Ambassador Delahousse said though other continents support Africa, EU and Africa share a common bond and it’s cherished by people in Europe.

“If you are in parts of Europe, you feel like you are in Africa, like the neighborhood and culture of Africa and it’s appreciated and we want to keep it. Europe remains open to people coming from Africa, provided the rules are followed,” Amb. Delahousse said.