During a visit to the European Parliament by the President of Ghana Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Co-Chairmen of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group, Polish Prof Ryszard Legutko and Italian Raffaele Fitto, asked the EU to help put African nations on equal footing with those of Europe.
In a bilateral meeting after Akufo-Addo’s plenary address in which he stressed that democratic governance and human rights are joint concerns for both continents Legutko and Fitto stated that Africa has enormous potential and that it could become an equal partner of the EU. Akufo-Addo’s invitation to Strasbourg followed an ECR initiative for an EU-Africa Summit in March 2020 that was cancelled due to the pandemic. The Group is planning to hold a new ECR Africa Summit once the epidemiological situation allows it.
During the meeting with President Akufo-Addo, Prof Legutko stated: “The ECR Group fully supports the idea that we need to change the narrative about Africa in Europe and across the international community. We often see Africa being merely regarded as an aid recipient. I believe that whether or not African countries achieve their full potential mainly depends on how they foster relationships with more developed nations, particularly in Europe. And in Europe, our challenge is to present ourselves as a true partner for African countries, in a partnership of equals.”
Mr Fitto added: “Africa is a continent with rapidly growing economies that will be inhabited by more than two billion people by 2050. This is why Europe must be able to seize the real opportunities of the African continent without leaving it to big competitors such as China, and to build a strong and equal partnership to tackle the common challenges of today and tomorrow.”