By Prosper Makene
Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hassan has met his counterpart French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris ahead of the EU-Africa summit that aims to “completely overhaul” the relationship between the two continents.
Tanzania’s female president will also attend the EU-Africa summit that will take place in Brussels this week on 17-18 February.
President Samia met her counterpart Macron at Élysée Palace in French’s capital, Paris on Monday, 14th February 2022.
The two heads of state discuss how to improve business deals between their countries.
However, at the EU-AU summit, President Samia will join other heads of state from Africa and Europe agreeing six initiatives including three investment packages, as part of what it calls a ‘Prosperous and Sustainable Partnership’.
The first of these will be based around the Global Gateway initiative – launched last September as the EU’s answer to China’s Belt and Road programme – which promises infrastructure investment in energy, digital and environment projects.
“At the summit, investments will be at the heart of the discussions because they are the means of our shared ambition,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in Senegal’s capital Dakar on Thursday last week, after announcing that the Global Gateway would include an investment plan worth more than €150 billion for Africa.
The programme promises to establish an EU investment platform in each African country but will not be backed by any new financing commitment by Brussels.
Far more significant is whether and how much of the $450 billion Special Drawing Rights issued by the International Monetary Fund last year, a large chunk of which was allocated to EU member states, will be reallocated to Africa to help cover the costs of the COVID pandemic.
At the summit, the two sides are due to agree on the text on an Africa-Europe Security and Stability architecture, a joint commitment to strengthen African capacities and support African peace operations. However, this is primarily about restating existing defence and security efforts.