“Africa is not poor. It is a rich continent where there is a lot of potential, lots of resources and without them our world would fall”, Olivier Luyckx, Head of the unit aid effectiveness and relations with member states and EEA States of the European Commission, said during the conference on Africa’s development that ended in Taormina, Sicily (Italy), last Friday the 3rd of October.
“Africa is a strategic supply”, he added.
“The problem for Africa – Luyckx added – is representation. It needs to be better represented, better governed. The fight against poverty is first priority”.
The EU Commission member added that the message Europe is sending to African countries is that there is the will to do better than in the past. “We don’t want a cooperation between two countries. We want all-comprehensive partnerships. A political cooperation that it will not only speak of development and poverty, but also of climate change. A partnership that goes well beyond Africa“.
Luyckx also said that aides are not good for Africa anymore. “Public aid is in the worst of scenarios useless and in the better ones it just set the basis for development”, Luyckx said.
The Head of the Unit aid effectiveness and relations with member states added that EU commissioners have a strong commitments with their African counterparts. In fact, he said, “right now they are packing up their bags and travel to Addis Abeba for a meeting”.
Mr Luyckx also said that the EU is paying for soldiers in Darfur just like it encourages other projects aimed to strengthen EU-Africa relations. Among these projects, he said about African infrastructures. “We had to precisely understand what infrastructures were missing in the whole Continent. So we just piled up different maps: the one for water supply, railroads, motorways, energy infrastructures and more. In this way we understood clearly what was missing and where exactly”, Luyckx said.
Ending his speech, he said that “technocrates have to help other actors” referring to the accusation many do to EU institutions, accused them too technical and in an useless way.
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