III ASA Summit
3rd Africa – South America Summit (ASA) holds from 20 – 23 February 2013 in Malabo, Republic of Equatorial Guinea on the theme: “Strategies and Mechanisms to strengthen South-South Cooperation”.
Malabo 20 February 2013 – The 3rd Africa-South America Summit (ASA) opened today 20 February 2013 at the Senior Officials level in the Sipoppo Convention Centre, Malabo, Equatorial Guinea under the theme: Strategies and Mechanisms to strengthen South-South Cooperation”. This meeting is the 6th of the kind bringing together the two parties to discuss the South-South strategic partnership.
The Experts from Africa and South America reiterated their commitment to strengthen their cooperation for the benefit of both regions. The Senior Officials will also exchange views on the mechanisms to operationalise their joint venture.
The Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Mr. Erastus Mwencha commended the efforts undertaken so far by the follow-up Coordinating Committee of ASA to intensify cooperation between Africa and South America as well as promote effective multilateralism for the benefit of the states and peoples of the two regions. The AUC Deputy Chairperson expressed satisfaction on the level of commitment by the two parties. He said the foundation of the partnership has already been put in place, the key areas for cooperation has been identified, “now is time to work together to ensure the successful implementation of some key projects so that both regions can be ready to face the socio-economic and political challenges in the global arena given their common historical and cultural destiny. Mr. Mwencha highlighted some of the areas of cooperation such as trade negotiations, climate change, human rights, agriculture, infrastructure, agriculture, energy, transport and education among others.
Taking the floor, Mrs. Maria Edileuza Fontenele Reis, Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Ministry Affairs of Brazil, and Coordinator for the South American Group of the Africa South America Partnership Forum (ASACOF), acknowledged the importance of the partnership for the promotion of investment in both regions. She underscored the need to encourage business fora and round table discussions on existing opportunities aimed at fostering economic growth. She reaffirmed her region’s commitment to foster South-South Cooperation as a major objective as well as promote the rich cultural diversity for the benefit of both regions.
Mr. Bulus Paul Zom Lolo, Nigerian Ambassador to Ethiopia and Coordinator of the African Group of ASACOF on his part, called on the participants saying their views will contribute to the Malabo Declaration which he hoped will be a strong political document adopted by the Heads of State during the 3rd ASA Summit. “There is need to guide and coordinate efforts to impact the lives of our people”, Ambassador Lolo emphasized. He urged for the spirit of solidarity to prevail and be consistent with the respect of the common values and aspirations of both parties.
Dr. Ruben Maye Nsue Mangue, Ambassador of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea to Addis Ababa and Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) of the African Union, said the meeting is holding against the backdrop of the decision taken in September 2009, in Margarita Island, Venezuela, which was adopted by the Heads of State and Government of the African Union at its Assembly session in Malabo in July 2011. “We face common challenges in our respective regions and are committed to tackling them to the benefit of our peoples. In that regard, this meeting should strive to achieve productive outcomes », he noted.
Meanwhile, both parties during these coming days will look for ways and means to continue strengthening the links between the two Regions and to foster and enhance cooperation in various areas of mutual interest.
Worth recalling that the ASA Coordination Group is made up of the following: Brazil (Coordinator for South America); Venezuela (previous host); Ecuador (UNASUR residency Ex-Tempore); Nigeria (Coordinator for Africa); Equatorial Guinea (current host); and African Union Commission.
The 3rd ASA Summit is a follow-up of the Africa and South America Partnership born in November 2006 in Abuja, Nigeria and reaffirmed during the 2nd ASA Summit held on September 2009 in Margarita Island, Venezuela.
The Summit will continue tomorrow 21 February 2013, at the Ministerial level, while the Heads of State and Gouvernement will meet at their 3rd session on 22nd Februray 2013.