Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat has said yesterday he expects that a summit between the African Union and the European Union will take place this year, pointing out the debt of African countries as one of the issues to be addressed.
Moussa Faki, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chad, his native country, seeks reelection for his diplomatic position which nears first-term completion. During a working visit to the Republic of Cape Verde, he said that the European Union is Africa’s “main partner”.
He regretted that the EU-AU summit did not take place in 2020, due to the covid-19 pandemic: “I very much hope that it will be possible this year,” said Moussa Faki.
“The European Union is available to help the African continent, in making vaccines available and also by discussing the issue of the debt of African countries, which is also on the table,” he said.
Several African countries have insisted on the need for debt relief by the wealthiest countries in order to deal with the economic and health consequences of the covid-19 pandemic.
The sixth EU-AU summit was postponed indefinitely, but in the words of Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa, it is certain to take place this year.
“We are certain that the European Union – Africa summit in full format will only be held in 2021”, said the Costa in the Assembly of the Republic, in the preparatory debate of the European Council of 15 and 16 October. “We hope that the evolution of the pandemic will not delay the full holding of this summit any longer,” the prime minister said at the time.
The new African Union Commission, for which Moussa Faki has no real opposition in his path to reelection, has been seeing an extensive reform process since 2016, under the supervision of Rwandan President Paul Kagame, meaning it will have fewer commissioners (six, instead of eight) who will be chosen through a new merit-based system.