Africa concerns us all, says French President
African continent/meeting with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission – Statement by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic
Paris, 5 October 2015
Ladies and gentlemen,
I wanted once again to have a meeting in person with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Mrs Zuma. It’s the fourth time, since she took on this heavy responsibility, that I’ve met her here at the Elysée. These regular consultations clearly show the link France has wanted to establish with the African Union, to make its contribution to resolving the problems that may affect the whole continent. What’s of interest to the African continent concerns us all. When conflicts take place there or spread there, there are risks for Europe. When wars break out on the African continent, we too are directly impacted. That’s why, whenever possible, we make our contribution to resolving those problems.
We also want to assert, in a number of situations, our concept of the law and the principles of democracy. That’s why we opposed the coup d’état in Burkina Faso and have been supporting the transitional authorities so they can take back responsibility for the country and ensure the organization of elections. We say the same thing as regards the Central African Republic. Everyone knows there’s been especially serious violence in recent days – more than 60 deaths and hundreds of injuries – and it’s more important than ever for France to play its role, along with MINUSCA, to ensure calm can return very quickly. But it’s also important that elections can be organized, and along with the African Union we’re doing everything to ensure that this ballot, the presidential ballot, can be held as quickly as possible, especially because 80% of Central Africans are now registered on the electoral roll and we, with the United Nations missions, can very well provide the necessary support for the organization of those elections.
I also discussed with Mrs Zuma the fight against terrorism, and you know the role France is playing in the action taken – both for Mali and for combating Boko Haram –, where we’re lending all our support to the countries most concerned, which want to set up an international force to fight this scourge.
But we arranged to talk mainly about two subjects, because we have two major events: the first is in Valletta, Malta, on 11 and 12 November. This meeting between Europe and Africa, Africa and Europe, will focus on emigration. We want this meeting not to make do with observing or merely talking about preventing these population movements but to genuinely draw up a plan that will enable us to act against the root causes of these phenomena and act at the source of these migration movements. That means establishing an ambitious development policy.
The second subject is the Climate Conference, which is also very closely linked to the previous one, because when there’s climate disruption, people migrate and countries’ development is affected. So we must fully involve the African Union in the issues that will be debated at the Paris conference. Mrs Zuma’s wish, along with France, is to act and once again provide solutions to the African continent. I therefore want to thank her very warmly for being here in Paris./.