Feb 22, 2013, 11:15 AM
This is something that we feel our readers should know, as it relates to an important story carried in this edition of The Point – the 4th EU-Africa Summit scheduled for 2 and 3 April in Brussels, Belgium.
According to the news agency of Nigeria, the African Union (AU) Commission on Friday reportedly defied calls from one of its organs advising member-countries to boycott the 4th EU-Africa Summit scheduled for 2 and 3 April .
The report stated that the AU Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) had last Wednesday resolved to advise African leaders to boycott the event scheduled for Brussels in Belgium.
We further learned that the PRC members’ decision was in reaction to the European Union’s perceived violation of an AU resolution by determining the composition of Africa’s delegation to the summit.
Consequently, the PRC, in its resolutions, recommended to all member-states not to attend the summit as EU cannot determine Africa’s delegation.
Members of the PRC, which comprised ambassadors and representatives of regional bodies, had urged the EU Commission to extend its invitations to all African heads of state.
They said the exception should be in the case of those under AU sanctions.
The EU Commission, however, ignored the call and barred Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe and his Sudanese counterpart, Omar El-Bashir, from attending the summit.
It said this was due to travel sanctions placed on them by the international community.
The EU, however, invited Egypt currently under AU sanctions and Morocco, which withdrew from AU activities in 1984, to attend the summit.
It also declined to invite Eritrea, a member of the African Union with no clear reason.
Meanwhile, Eratus Mwencha, said to be a deputy chairperson of the AU commission, on Friday addressed newsmen on the preparations for the summit.
He said the AU Commission had concluded arrangements to attend the summit to address issues of interest to both continents.
Mwencha, who briefed journalists alongside ambassador Gary Quine, EU head of delegation to the AU, said the fourth summit would consolidate on the trade co-operation between the two continents.
“The trade relations between the two unions currently stands at 251 billion euros and needed to be promoted to attract more Foreign Direct Investment and address other funding gaps to Africa.
“The summit will also resolve on efforts to tackle the challenges of global warming, environmental issues and technology transfer to fast-track Africa’s development,’’ he said.
We hope this piece of information, in addition to the contents of the story on ECOWAS’s position on the EPA issue, will help our readers have a more holistic understanding of issues.
“Trade relations between the two unions currently stands at 251 billion euros, and needed to be promoted to attract more Foreign Direct Investment and address other funding gaps to Africa.”