Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday called for the establishment of a joint European Union-Africa COVID-19 response strategy.
The Head of State who spoke in Nairobi during a virtual conference of European and African leaders on the proposed establishment of the Africa-Mediterranean-Europe (AME) Foundation said the EU-Africa COVID-19 strategy should among other interventions pursue the cancelation of debts owed by African countries.
The setting up of AME Foundation as a platform to enhance development discourse and interactions between Africa, the Mediterranean and Europe is being championed by the Former President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.
President Kenyatta supported the proposal to establish the Foundation saying the initiative will help inject new ideas needed to scale up collaboration between the three regions.
“I, therefore, welcome with enthusiasm the proposal to establish the Africa-Med-Europe (AME) Foundation. The Foundation will complement the existing Africa-European continental cooperation in addressing the emerging global challenges,” President Kenyatta said.
He said the foundation should be structured to be a robust platform for the promotion multilateralism and inclusivity.
“It will also be imperative for the Africa-Med-Europe Foundation to be a voice against unilateralism and be a champion in the promotion of inclusive and consultative decision making by our continents…
“In this context of inclusivity, the Foundation should also recognize the critical role of the private sector, the academia and civil society,” the President said.
President Kenyatta endorsed the proposal to include the setting up of the EMA Foundation as an agenda during the next AU-EU summit scheduled for October this year.
“I also agree and concur with the idea that the next Africa Union-European Union Summit can present an excellent opportunity and platform to call for the establishment and support for the Africa-Med-Europe Foundation,” he said.
The virtual meeting was addressed by Presidents Macky Sall (Senegal), Issoufou Mahamadou (Niger), Mohamed Ould Ghazouni (Mauritania) and Roch Mach Kabore (Burkina Faso).
President Macky Sall supported the establishment of the EMA Foundation saying the institution will help address the changes happening on the African continent.
President Kabore reiterated President Kenyatta’s sentiments that EMA will assist in advancing multilateralism and global solidarity especially in post-Covid-19 recovery.