Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Spain’s development cooperation with Africa

Brussels, 17 November. As part of the first European Development Days organised by the European Commission in Brussels (15th- 17th November 2006), Euforic attended a presentation by Cristina Díaz Fernández-Gil, AECI's deputy director for cooperation with Asia and Sub Saharan Africa. She gave a brief introduction to the activities and most recent changes of Spanish development cooperation policies. As could be concluded from the title - 'Meeting about Spanish Cooperation in Africa on Gender, Education, Health and Food programmes' - this was basically focused on the evolution of AECI activities in those fields.

The presentation clearly indicated the growth of both AECI and Spanish investments in development cooperation but, on the other hand, one should wait to assess the results in the long term engendered by these changes.

With regard to the issues raised during the meeting, some initiatives by AECI are particularly interesting, such as the foundation of the Casa Africa, supposed to be similar to the already existing Casa de América and Casa Asia. Equally interesting are the Nauta and VITA programmes about fishing and health issues. They try to build joint networks between the actors involved in these sectors both in Spain and in developing countries.

The meeting underlined the importance of the activities of Spanish NGOs for cooperation with African countries where, according to Díaz Fernández-Gil, they are key actors that achieve excellent results.

For more information, check the Euforic dossiers on the European Development Days and Spain.

Story contributed by Eduardo Rejón Parrilla.