Minister Evarist Bartolo meets African Ministers in Rwanda
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Minister Evarist Bartolo meets African Ministers in Rwanda

Reference Number: PR211947, Press Release Issue Date: Oct 26, 2021
 
“The Maltese Government considers Africa to be a land full of opportunities where the number of Maltese businesses operating in this continent is increasing and needs to be further sustained”. Foreign and European Affairs Minister Evarist Bartolo said this when he met several ministers from African countries while attending the second Ministerial meeting between the African Union and the European Union, in Rwanda. Minister Bartolo also met the Commissioner for Social Affairs of the African Union, Amira Elfadil.
 
Minister Bartolo told the conference that Europe and Africa should not only be good neighbors, but should work hard to be equal partners. He explained how the colonial past should not be perpetuated in the future, otherwise it cannot be considered a past. He mentioned how every year, according to UNCTAD, around 76 billion euros are illegally withdrawn from Africa, to the detriment of many people being deprived of social services and basic necessities. He went on to say that last year 70% of exports from the European Union to Africa were characterized by manufactured products. While in the same period, 61% of exports from Africa to the European Union consisted of food and drink, raw materials and energy.
 
More education, training and employment opportunities need to be offered to young people in Africa, many of whom are experiencing unemployment and poverty. Minister Bartolo said that on the issue of immigration the movement of people needs to be regulated. He referred to the need for secure borders, where human traffickers are stopped at every stage of their operation and every person deserving of asylum is given the protection they deserve.
 
During the Rwanda meeting, African and European Ministers had the opportunity to convey their message on how Africa and Europe can cooperate together in the future, for the benefit of both sides. The main topics discussed during this meeting were peace, security, governance and immigration, as well as the need for investments that strengthen sustainability and investment in human capital in areas such as science, technology, education and skills development.
 
The issues that stood out during the meeting were the effects of climate change on African economies, the need for a framework and instruments to further support peace processes, the issue of climate change, and the issue of climate change, immigration and the movement of people from the country of origin, the digital field as a means of strengthening cooperation between the two, as well as strengthening cultural ties.
 
Minister Bartolo was accompanied by Permanent Secretary Mr Christopher Cutajar. This diplomatic activity in Rwanda is a living testimony to the implementation of the Strategy for Africa adopted by the Ministry in January last year.

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