The Africa- EU Summit, as some of you might know, was held on the 8th and 9th of December 2007 in Lisbon, Portugal. It was regarded as the second meeting of heads of state and government from the EU and Africa, of course, after having its very first held in Cairo in the year 2000, and Portugal, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU, hosted the event.
The ” Joint EU- Africa Strategy, ” the ” Action Plan, ” and the ” Lisbon Declaration” were all adopted during the conference.
It was, however, believed that Portugal convened the Africa- EU conference to promote Europe’ s interests, in order to assist the West in achieving the same aims as the Berlin Conference. Let’ s read.
The Beginning Of The Africa- EU Summits
The 3rd and 4th of April, 2000 were the days when the inaugural Africa- EU Summit was held in Cairo, Egypt, and even though the African Union records it as a continental gathering, the irony is regarded to be hilarious, especially given that the European Union (EU) was widely known to be merely a group of a few European countries interested in Africa’ s resources and market.
Critics have pointed out that the Africa- EU Summit, like the Berlin Conference, lacks the necessary representation to reach a satisfactory conclusion. It’ s also no coincidence that the African- EU Summit began in 2000, which happens to be the same year Portugal assumed the presidency of the European Union’ s Council of Ministers.
In light of the ongoing event, Otto von Bismarck, Germany’ s chancellor, asked for officials from 13 European countries, as well as the United States, to attend the Berlin Conference in 1884 to work out a united policy on the African continent, with Britain’ s support and Portugal’ s initiative.
Portugal Organized The Africa- EU And Its Aftermath
In order to promote the European interest, Portugal convened the Africa- EU conference and also to help aid the West in achieving the same aims as the Berlin Conference.
The Portuguese were the first Europeans to set out on a systematic search for gold in Africa, with the hope of bringing wealth to Portugal and Europe as a whole. It was, however, evident that Europe had yet again counted on Portugal to serve as a conduit for a coordinated African policy.
The putting to an end and stoppage of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) as well as the founding of the African Union (AU) on July 9th, 2002 were said to be two of the many events that followed the first Africa- EU Summit in April 2000.
During that period, critics were reported to have claimed that the decision to dissolve and abolish the OAU was engineered by the West in order to undermine African unity.
African leaders, on the other hand, pledged to give the global collaboration between Africa and Europe a new strategic dimension at the first African- EU Summit, unaware that they were voluntarily giving over the continent’ s resources and markets to Europe.
It was evident that during the first conference, the Africa- EU Strategic Partnership was created to serve as the formal political channel through which the EU and the African Union (AU) communicate in order for the latter to hand over territory, resources, and markets. It is common knowledge that the majority of today’ s resolutions affecting Africa were negotiated at Africa- EU summits.
Critics have questioned Europe’ s motivation in forming the summit and its subsequent operations. They argue that if Europe had had genuine intentions for the continent, it should have pushed the African Union to adopt regional integration, free trade, and a single currency, as the Schengen Agreement has done for countries in Europe.
Though the Schengen Agreement led to the abolition of national borders and the adoption of a single currency by the majority of European countries, it’ s difficult to think of any other objective for the African- EU Summits except to negotiate and establish personal agreements with African leaders in order to penetrate their markets and exploit their resources.
During the new imperialism period, the Berlin Conference was held to control European colonialism and trade in Africa. The African- EU Summits appear to be a continuation of the Berlin Conference, with the same goals in mind for a post- independent Africa.
I have seen how everything played out. A handful or majority might help to think that the way the Africa- EU Summit played out, it might in fact have a similarity to the Berlin Conference. What’ s your opinion?
Thanks for reading.