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BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,16TH JULY,2020-President Uhuru Kenyatta has called for the crafting of a joint European Union and Africa Covid-19 response strategy.
He said the EU-Africa Covid-19 strategy should pursue the cancellation of debts owed by African countries among other interventions.
He spoke during a virtual conference of European and African leaders on the proposed establishment of the Africa-Mediterranean-Europe (AME) Foundation.
Uhuru said the setting up of AME Foundation as a platform to enhance development discourse and interactions between Africa, the Mediterranean and Europe, is being championed by the Former President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.
The head of state supported the proposal to establish the foundation saying the initiative will help inject new ideas needed to scale up collaboration between the three regions.
“I, therefore, welcome with enthusiasm the proposal to establish the Africa-Med-Europe (AME) Foundation. The Foundation will complement the existing Africa-European continental cooperation in addressing the emerging global challenges,” Uhuru said.
He added that the foundation should be structured to be a robust platform for the promotion multilateralism and inclusivity.
“It will also be imperative for the Africa-Med-Europe Foundation to be a voice against unilateralism and be a champion in the promotion of inclusive and consultative decision making by our continents…
“In this context of inclusivity, the Foundation should also recognize the critical role of the private sector, the academia and civil society,” he added.
The President also endorsed the proposal to include the setting up of the EMA Foundation as an agenda during the next AU-EU summit scheduled for October this year.
“I also agree and concur with the idea that the next Africa Union-European Union Summit can present an excellent opportunity and platform to call for the establishment and support for the Africa-Med-Europe Foundation,” he said.
The virtual meeting was addressed by Presidents Macky Sall (Senegal), Issoufou Mahamadou (Niger), Mohamed Ould Ghazouni (Mauritania) and Roch Mach Kabore (Burkina Faso).
President Sall supported the establishment of the EMA Foundation saying the institution will help address the changes happening on the African continent.
President Kabore reiterated President Kenyatta’s sentiments that EMA will assist in advancing multilateralism and global solidarity especially in post-Covid-19 recovery.