Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda attends the session "The Transformation of Tomorrow" during the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland January 20, 2016. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich
CAIRO - 18 December 2018: The High-Level Forum Africa-Europe hosted by Austria kicked off on Tuesday in Vienna as it holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2018.
Rwanda President and Chairperson of the African Union for the year 2018 Paul Kagame said that one of Africa’s strategic goals in present is the creation of employment opportunities for youth.
Kagame highlighted the necessity to manage obstacles that face development and investment describing the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) as a step forward.
In March, AfCFTA was signed by 48 out of 55 members of the AU, and was ratified by 10. It will be put into effect after the ratification of 22 member states. The agreement should boost intra-African trade by eliminating customs barriers.
President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said that African challenges “are considered ours.” He added that a balanced partnership is needed and that Europe should share the responsibility with Africa.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker addresses the European Parliament during a debate on The State of the European Union in Strasbourg, France, September 14, 2016. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler
Junker stated that he suggested - in the last summit in Abidjan in 2017 - the creation of more joint coalitions to give rise to more joint investments. He added that the EU would pump in additional €40 billion by 2020. The sum provided as funding is expected to be multiplied by private investors.
Junker also shed light on the fact that Africa has the fastest growing population that may hit two billion by 2050.
African and European businesses are also participating in the conference.