04/04/2014 EURO-MP Jean Lambert has called for EU and African leaders meeting in Brussels this week to develop greater co-operation between the two continents.
“We are all too aware of the unacceptably high levels of poverty, inequality and environmental degradation across the African continent,” she said, in light of the EU-Africa summit taking which took place on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“But the answers must lie in deepening dialogue, improving the accountability of big business and supporting African governments, particularly on climate change – as well as tackling issues of human rights.
“Let’s be clear – there are terrible human rights abuses taking place in some African countries: legislation outlawing homosexuality in Uganda and Nigeria are good examples, as are recent well-documented attacks on freedom of speech, recent reports of torture and disappearances and the silencing of political opposition. I was especially shocked to hear about the case of Dr Amadou Janneh who was sentenced to life in jail for printing T-shirts critical of the government in Gambia.
“But Africa is not just one place, and many African nations are facing quite different issues.
“We need to deepen and develop our relationships with different African countries to recognise the diversity across the continent.
“Climate change will be a growing background to many of these relationships – and we need a dialogue as to how Africa’s energy needs can be met without making the same mistakes as countries that industrialised some time ago.”