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Portuguese Presidency wants a “turning point” in relations between the European Union and Africa

High-Level EU-Africa Green Investment Forum

22 Apr · 12h00

© Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union / Pedro Sá da Bandeira

The High-Level EU-Africa Green Investment Forum will be a “turning point” and an ideal opportunity to make the relationship between the two continents an “effective partnership”, according to the Portuguese Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.


Francisco André pointed out that the goal of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU — organising the Friday event in association with the European Investment Bank — is to turn the “green agenda into a structuring pillar for relations” between the two continents.


For an effective green transition, the Secretary of State argued, “we must make our business models more sustainable and bear in mind that profits, job creation and wealth generation must be sustainable, respecting the planet's natural resources”.


In the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic, Francisco André believes that there is an opportunity to “rebuild” economies “more sustainably” and this is why the EU-Africa Forum is in a position to create the conditions for putting the consensus on the need to deal with climate change into practice: “Africa is one of the continents that contributes least to global warming and has very low CO2 emissions, but it is also one of the most affected by the consequences of this global warming. The four most affected countries in the world are in Africa: Mozambique, Malawi, Ghana and Madagascar.” He concluded that there is therefore an urgent need to “design consequential public policies” that will promote the green transition “and that are attractive for the private sector”.

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Francisco André, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation © Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2021 / Pedro Sá da Bandeira

Francisco André recalled that there has been a new financial instrument for cooperation in the European Union since March, known as Global Europe. “It has the basic tools we need to act, so that Europe can go from dialogue to practical implementation of these policies and this desire for partnerships with Africa”, he said. This instrument has a sum of almost EUR 30 billion reserved for Africa, 30% of which is earmarked for investments with climate goals.


Taking part in the High-Level EU-Africa Green Investment Forum on 23 April will be the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, and Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa, as well as several representatives of European and African institutions.

Green Talks attract 5,000 participants

Over a month, the Portuguese Presidency and the European Investment Bank promoted 26 digital conferences, called “Green Talks”, on the subject of sustainable development and green investment in Africa.


The discussions took place via video conference from a variety of European and African cities, with contributions from public decision-makers, politicians, academics, experts, businesspeople and non-governmental organisations and attracting over 5,000 participants.