Posted by: africanpressorganization | 17 November 2008

African Union Commission (AUC) Deputy Chairperson and Portugal Foreign Affairs Secretary of State Discuss Mechanisms to Strengthen Cooperation Ties




African Union Commission (AUC) Deputy Chairperson and Portugal Foreign Affairs Secretary of State Discuss Mechanisms to Strengthen Cooperation Ties


ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, November 17, 2008/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Mr. Erastus Mwencha, today, received in audience the Portugal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Professor Joao Gomes Cravinho, at the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


During the meeting, Professor Joao Gomes Cravinho stressed the strong commitment of his country to ensure the implementation of the Lisbon Declaration on the Africa-EU Partnership as well as reinforce cooperation ties between Portugal and Africa. “Portugal would like to improve its relationship with Africa by adding a strong input on cooperation”, he said. He further expressed the need to promote the Portuguese language in Africa and the need for capacity building within the Commission in the various development areas.


The Secretary of State however told the AUC Deputy Chairperson that he would like to know the level of implementation of the Plan of Action of the Africa Partnership Forum; the integration of NEPAD into the AU structures; as well as the relationship between the AUC and the RECs particularly on peace and security issues within the African continent. He underscored the need to identify a mechanism to ensure a substantial political dialogue as an element of good cooperation.


Speaking later, the Deputy Chairperson of the Commission, Mr. Erastus Mwencha, lauded the Portuguese Government for its commitment and strong participation in the Africa Partnership Forum (APF) and for their initiative in monitoring progress and implementation of the AU-EU Partnership adopted in Lisbon in 2007.


Mr. Mwencha began by presenting the AU strategic plan 2009-2012 based on the four AUC pillars: peace and security, development and integration, shared values and institutional transformation or capacity building. According to the Deputy Chairperson, the Commission is open to all input from the Africans themselves as well as partners to look for a common approach and find a solution to help Africa overcome the many challenges it is currently faced with.


While welcoming the idea of promoting the Portuguese language in Africa, Mr. Mwencha underscored the need to train and capacitate Africans to understand and master the language, given that Portuguese is one of the five working languages of the African Union.



SOURCE : African Union Commission (AUC)


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