Wednesday, October 17, 2007

African voices and views on Europe

Brussels, 16 October. The book 'African voices' and exhibition 'emerging views on Europe' are important complementary initiatives expressing Africa's ideas on Europe's influence on its continent. They came together tonight in the European Parliament with a photo exhibition and a presentation also featuring a keynote speech by Joseph Borrell, President of the European Parliament.

Organised by Concord, the 'emerging views' photo exibition - that will tour Europe - brings together images taken by African partners to represent how they see European development cooperation and its impact. These images range from those showing European exploitation of Africa, with a lizard eating a praying Mantis, to those promoting European ideals. Others show European support to Africa in practice, with European NGOs risking lives to support water pumps in conflict regions.

Concord's Director Olivier Consolo explains the objectives of the 'emerging views' exhibition:

The 'African voices' project is managed by BOND, the British NGDO platform. This publication, available in English, French and Portuguese, stresses the need for true partnership between Europe and Africa. It synthesizes African views on trade justice, human security, African government accountability and the role the African diaspora in Europe can play. It concludes by voicing concerns that the EU Strategy for Africa becomes a truly joint EU-Africa strategy. While there has been internet-based and some face to face consultation with African and European civil society groups, the authors of the publication express concern that this has fallen short of what was necessary.

Gillian Ayong introduces the 'africa voices' publication and comments on the joint EU-Africa strategy:

See also the Euforic dossier on EU-Africa cooperation