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Immigration at the heart of the 5th Europe-Africa Summit in Abidjan

Ⓒ AFP – ISSOUF SANOGO – | European flag and the one announcing the fifth summit European Union (EU) – African Union (AU), November 27 in Abidjan

Cote d’Ivoire hosts the fifth European Union (EU) – African Union (AU) summit on Wednesday and Thursday, which will focus mainly on immigration and security issues, with the aim of creating a better future for young people African.

Some 83 heads of state and government and 5,000 participants from 55 African and 28 European countries, as well as the UN and international organizations, are expected in the Ivorian economic capital Abidjan, where Renovations were launched barely a week before the event, causing traffic jams, aggravated by security measures.

The international scandal of the sale of African migrants as slaves in Libya has once again brought to the fore the issue of African immigration to Europe.

Ⓒ AFP – ISSOUF SANOGO – | Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara Welcomes Lebanese Prime Minister Fayez el-Serraj on Arrival at Abidjan Airport, November 28, 2018

French President Emmanuel Macron announced Tuesday in Ouagadougou, where he began an African tour, which he would propose at the summit “a Euro-African initiative” to “hit the criminal organizations and smuggling networks” that exploit migrants in Libya, and “massive support for the evacuation of people at risk” in Libya, calling the sale of migrants as slaves a “crime against humanity”.

Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou had specifically requested that this issue be put on the agenda of the summit, and AU Commission President Moussa Faki Mahamat called for “urgent and coordinated measures between the Libyan authorities. , the African Union, the European Union and the United Nations “.

EU Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini has called the revelations of slavery and human trafficking “unbearable”.

60% of Africa’s population is under 25, and hundreds of thousands of young people desperate for unemployment, poverty and lack of opportunity in their countries – despite enviable growth rates for some of them – try to emigrate to Europe every year.

Africa’s population has almost doubled in the last 25 years (currently 1.2 billion) and is expected to double by 2050, according to UN forecasts.

Hence the official main theme of the summit, “Investing in Youth for a Sustainable Future”.

– New relationship –

The question of security and terrorist threats should also be discussed by the heads of state and government, at a time when West Africa in particular has been experiencing a rise in power of jihadist groups in recent years, moreover part linked to the desperation of African youth, according to analysts.

Ⓒ AFP – ISSOUF SANOGO – | Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara greets German Chancellor Angela Merkel on arrival at Abidjan airport on November 28, 2018

The EU is supporting the G5 Sahel, a group of five countries (Mali, Niger, Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Chad) which is trying to establish an anti-jihadist force in this region, but funding for this force is still largely insufficient. Only half of this force’s budget was raised, though halved, to 240 million euros. The EU has promised 50.

Heads of State should call for greater military cooperation and intelligence while asking everyone (north and south) to make more efforts.

“The summit is important because of its context: Europe sees Africa as part of its geopolitical space, and there are plenty of challenges,” said a minister from the AU.

Emmanuel Macron also called on Tuesday to “rebuild a project between (the) two continents, a new relationship redesigned on the right scale” between Africa and Europe.

“Africa is a continent that can not be ignored because it is here that all the contemporary challenges – terrorism, climate change, poverty, demography, urbanization – are being played out in Africa, will be part of the world’s tipping point”. he started.

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