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EU: $47bn pumped into Africa will change its ‘destiny’

October 31, 2017 at 12:23 pm

President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani [Piotr Drabik/Wikipedia]

$47 billion from the European Investment Bank could possibly change the “destiny of Africa and give hope to the continent”, the President of the European Parliament said whilst on a visit to Tunisia.

According to Antonio Tajani, “it takes at least €40 billion ($47 billion) for a leverage effect of €400 billion. Today €3.5 billion [$4 billion], only, is already mobilised. But that is not enough.”

During an official visit to Tunis this week, Tajani spoke to the Tunisian Parliament where he touched on several topics including the fight against terrorism, the wave of migration, unemployment and investment projects for African development including in Tunisia.

According to Tajanai, “productive” investments in Africa are the key to fighting illegal emigration, which he deemed “essential” to strengthen control over the Tunisian-Libyan border, Tunisian coasts and ports to prevent illegal emigration.

“It is not with speeches that we can convince the migrants to stay at home, we have to offer them opportunities to have a decent life, hence the need to invest,” he added.

Nobody wants to leave his hometown, but, if this city suffers from poverty and unemployment, emigration becomes an issue.

Read: MENA in a worst state today than before Arab Spring says Ghannouchi

The Tunisian President of the Assembly of the Representatives of the People, Mohamed Ennaceur, held talks with his European counterpart where they discussed ways to attract foreign investments in Tunisia to be directed towards the most disadvantaged regions.

“Tunisia is constantly counting on the support of the European Union to curb the problem of unemployment especially for graduates of higher education,” he said.

Ennaceur also asked for EU assistance to facilitate the regular migration of young Tunisians to Europe.

“Tunisia is calling for more economic and political support from the EU, including seeking to convert its debts to EU member states into investment projects,” he said.

Read: Tunisia grants protection to figures from 40 corruption cases

Using the latest statistics which show that Europeans believe that the EU should work more with its partners to effectively fight terrorism and violent extremism, Tajani revealed that the European Commission has this month presented new measures to strengthen cooperation with Tunisia in fighting terrorism and organised crime.

Some of the measures include opening negotiations for an agreement on the exchange of personal data between Europol and Tunisia by the end of the year.

Tajani also stressed the need to work towards the stabilisation of Libya by welcoming the initiative of President Beji Caid Essebsi for a comprehensive political settlement of the Libyan crisis.

Tunisia has been a key player along with Algeria and Egypt in trying to create a solution to Libya’s political stalemate that is strictly non-military. UN-sponsored talks held in Tunis for a number of weeks fell through last week after Libya’s rival factions failed to make any breakthroughs in the negotiations.