Opinion | Europe also needs Africa

Has been very significant that the first trip of the president of the European Commission, and Ursula von der Leyen, has been to Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) to meet

Opinion | Europe also needs Africa

Has been very significant that the first trip of the president of the European Commission, and Ursula von der Leyen, has been to Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) to meet with Moussa Faki Mahamat, the leader of the Commission of the African Union. The official message is that Africa is a priority for addressing climate change, migration and security. The truth, however, is that Europe is losing influence on the continent in the face of rising economic and political role, and security played, above all, by China. The trade between the asian country and the african continent has multiplied, going from about 10,000 million dollars in 2000 to 120,000 million in 2018, according to the IMF.

Europe continues, in the first place by volume of exchanges, with 160,000 million. And in foreign investments, the former colonies such as France and the Uk, exceed still clearly to China, according to Bruegel. But the distances are shortened. Africa is boiling. It is reflected in the growth of its population, which in 2050 will exceed the 2,000 million inhabitants, double that of today, and the elevation of life expectancy to 65 years. However, the number of people living in extreme poverty does not cease to increase and, if nothing changes, could hold 90% of the world's poor by 2030, according to the World Bank.

The reality is that Europe has been very consistent with the role it should play in Africa, according to the anticipadora vision of the French Foreign minister Robert Schuman. The next may meet 70 years of the Schuman Declaration, the first initiative to create a european institution that proposed to submit the production of steel and coal under a authority common. The aim was that the countries share the production of the basic materials for the manufacture of weapons and to prevent the wars that had ravaged Europe. In the Schuman Declaration had a reference to premonitory to the development of Africa: “Such production (coal and steel) will be offered to the entire world without distinction or exception, to contribute to the increase of the level of life and the progress of the works of peace. Europe will be able, with greater means to pursue the achievement of one of its essential tasks: the development of the african continent”.

Europe failed to comply with the humanist promise, and lost a great opportunity. Today, Africa has other partners to intensify their relations as China, India, Japan and Russia. In addition, Europe no longer can look to the southern continent just thinking about their development. The ageing Europe needs also to africans. Germany, for example, will require more than six million immigrants by 2030 for their industries and to be able to pay their pensions.

The minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, José Luis Escrivá, just to underline the need of millions of immigrants for the future of Spain and Europe. Only ignorance can deny the convenience of the immigration and cooperation on a footing of absolute equality.

Updated Date: 20 January 2020, 09:00

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