Industrialization, Not Aid, Critical for Africa Development -VP Taylor Pushes for Paradigm Shift at Poland Forum

The Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor, reiterated at the just the final session of the just ended 30th European Economic Forum that Africa is the future with unlimited opportunities for genuine mutually rewarding partnerships between Africa and   Europe.

It was discussed at the Forum held in Poland that a joint strategy is being developed for adoption at the pending sixth EU-AU summit to be held in 2022. The main focus will be on climate change, digital transformation, sustainable growth, employment, peace, good governance, the Rule of Law, migration and mobility.

VP Howard-Taylor welcomed the proposed partnership but stressed the new African position that it is no longer interested in one-sided agreements which strip nations of their resources to western Nations.

That it is imperative that African Nations build sustainable systems which will provide job opportunities for its many youth, create an environment for innovation, creativity, sustainability and peace.

She further intimated that Africa, which remains the closest continent to Europe, is also determined to negotiate new partnerships which strengthen investment opportunities in Africa instead of aid whose only intent is to exploit the continent and leave its people in dire poverty and crisis.

The Vice President pointed out that the perception about perceived challenges in Africa must be rewritten to reflect the unlimited possibilities.

She reminded the panel that Europe still has political and socioeconomic challenges too; but if both continents work together it is a win situation for all.

The Vice President, as special Guest at this discussion, was then asked a key question: what should the new financing agreement for the 2022 discussions entail. She answered that any new agreement must consider investment which impacts the citizenry directly, and not financing which is targeted to increase revenues for the minority such as budgetary support which only affects a few a Government; and should continue to help build systems for better accountability, transparency,  wealth creation at the grass roots level in relevant sectors which are tied to natural resources and civic and to strengthening civil engagements and voters education amongst others.

The Liberian Vice President, who was the only African Leader on the Panel of discussion ended the discussion by reminding the panel and participants at the forum that industrializing Africa through Europe and Africa partnerships would eliminate many socio issues for Europe; such as the incessant migration of young people from Africa into Europe.

She also called on African leaders to ensure the creation of an enabling environment of good governance, upholding the rule of rule which secures investments on both sides for the benefit of its people, particularly the youth. She also said that the era of signing investment agreements which benefit only those at the top must end.

Moderated by Mr. Julius Zellah, President, Foundation Light for Africa, other members who shared the panel with Vice President included the Director of Euro –Mediterranean Policies; the Regional Program Director Roger Albinyana; and the Deputy Director European Center for Development Policy Management Geert Laporte, among others.

In their separate presentations, the other panelists agreed to the formation of the new Africa and Europe Partnership; but stressed the need for equal share investments and mutually rewarding partnerships under the rule of law and better governance.

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