Presidents of African employers' organisations meet in Abidjan | Tunisia News Gazette

Presidents of African employers’ organisations meet in Abidjan

Presidents of the employers’ organisations of CAte d’Ivoire, France, Morocco, Tunisia, Cameroon, Guinea, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya met in Abidjan, on the fringes of the 5th African Union-European Union Summit, November 29-30, under the theme “Investing in youth for a sustainable future.”

At the end of the meeting focused on human tragedies generated by underemployment and immigration and in which a delegation of the Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA) chaired by Tunisia – Ivory Coast Business Council President Riadh Azaiez, took part, the participants signed a joint declaration addressed to the heads of State participating in the Summit.

This is a message about a new vision of Afro-European co-operation and the role of the private sector in this perspective.

The presidents of the African employers’ organisations called in this joint statement, the African Union-European Union heads of State Summit to take the initiative to have a new look at co-operation between the EU and the AU by:

– Defining a long-term EU-AU strategic partnership, based on the economy and involving the private sector, with mutual benefits and including an upstream dialogue through a platform between the EU and the AU;

– Reaching a new agreement which will govern co-operation between Europe and Africa and that takes into account the African continent as a whole;

– Creating a working, negotiation and co-operation platform bringing together the European Commission, the European private sector and the African private sector to discuss the content of the future EU-AU partnership agreement;

– A much greater rebalancing between donations and loans to offset the limited effectiveness of grant funding. The financing component of the new EU-AU agreement could include a larger share of funding for projects financed by the private sector in Europe and Africa as part of a joint venture.

– Reducing delays in European funding. The European Sustainable Development Fund (EFSD) could include a mechanism to manage these deadlines so that more companies benefit and become more competitive.

– Introducing new financing modalities, such as guarantee mechanisms and measures to develop national financial markets.

– Broadening the scope of the types of projects financed in order to contribute to the development of sectors outside the traditional field of co-operation between Europe and Africa: the digital transformation of Africa, industrialisation, diversification of economies and reinforcement of entrepreneurship are major stakes.

A reflection on criteria for the Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethics should be taken into account by the European and African private sectors that are eager to contribute.

On the sidelines of the summit, representatives of UTICA had talks with representatives of French, Cameroonian, Moroccan, Guinean, Algerian, Congolese and Ivorian employers’ organisations.

During their discussions with the representatives of the General Confederation of Enterprises of CAte d’Ivoire (CGECI), the UTICA representatives discussed sectoral promotion actions and an institutional co-operation project that would be finalised before the end of the year.

Source: TAP News Agency

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