Africa-France summit calls for stronger ties

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 10:36:37 +0000

 

By ANNIE ZULU

ZAMBIA’S foreign minister Harry Kalaba has described the 27th Africa- France summit which opened in Bamako yesterday as significant as it will open an opportunity for African leaders to discuss issues causing conflicts on the continent.

Mr Kalaba who is representing President Edgar Lungu at the summit said Africa needed to address all issues making the continent unstable for it to achieve the dream of becoming a peaceful and prosperous continent by 2063.

The summit is being co- chaired by Malian president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and President Francois Hollande of France.

The main topics to be discussed at the summit include issues of peace and security, the economy and development as well as appropriate responses to various challenges within those areas. Mr Kalaba was also scheduled to meet   Zambians living in Mali to discuss their welfare .

During his recent official visit to Abuja , Nigeria Mr Kalaba received a report about Zambian women stranded in Mali after being mistreated and divorced  by husbands of Malian origin.

And the summit has called on Africa to strengthen its partnership with France to address various issues causing instability on the continent.

President Keita said terrorism had continued to be a threat to peace on the continent hence the need for Africa to consolidate its partnership  with France to address terrorism hampering development.

He said the Africa- France Summit was therefore, an important platform for African leaders to strategize how best to address various challenges threatening peace on the continent.

And Mr Hollande pledged his country’s continued support towards promotion of peace and democracy in Africa.

Mr. Hollande also lamented at the high levels of youth unemployment in Africa saying young people need training to acquire skills which can help them contribute to the development of the continent.

He said France would continue to provide various training opportunities to youths who were Africa’s future leaders.

He expressed concern on the high number of youths dying on the sea while travelling to Europe to search for jobs.

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