The Economic Strategy for La Francophonie and Agenda 2063; Synergies promoting Development

By African Union Commission (AUC)

The AU Commission, in collaboration with the Government of Canada and Organization Internationale de la Francophonie (IOF) Office in Addis Ababa, the 21 March 2016 organized the conference debate of the Fridays of the Commission under the theme: “La Francophonie and Agenda 2063: Synergies promoting Development.” The conference is aimed at presenting the main objectives of both the economic strategy for La Francophonie and of Agenda 2063. The conference gathered IOF experts, AU staff, Diplomat, Economic development stakeholders, Civil Society Organizations, Members of the academic core, Students, and Media.

Speaking on behalf of H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma Chairperson of the AUC H.E Dr. Anthony. M Maruping AUC Commissioner for Economic Affairs Department underscored the importance of the theme of the meeting “the economic strategy for la francophonie (OIF) and Agenda 2063 synergies promoting development” noting that it plays a great role in highlighting the relation between the economic agenda of la francophonie and AU Agenda 2063. H.E Commissioner Maruping also noted that the meeting provides a mechanism for regional coordination especially with Regional Economic Communities, the OIF and the government of Canada.

H.E. Mr. Philip Baker, Representative of Canada to the AU underscored the relevance of implementing La Francophonie's mandate to further strengthen the relationship between the AU and Canada. In addition, Mr. Baker pledged the full commitment of Canada towards the realization of this mandate by providing technical, financial and human resources to secure investment in Africa providing job opportunities for the women and youths cross boarder trade, economic investment and particularly women economic power. Furthermore, H.E. Mr. Philip Baker wished everyone a fruitful dialogue and to reflect on what is at stake for Canada and the AU towards the sustainable development of Africa.

Mrs Cecile Lequile Folchini speaking on behalf of H.E. Mr. Malik Sarr, Permenant Representative of the Organization Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) to the AU and UNECA highlighted some key aspects that were considered during the commencement of the La Francophonie mandate. The strategy aims to assist La Francophonie members, and the least developed African countries in particular, to advance towards greater economic growth and development, fight poverty and inequality, protect the environment and preserve cultural heritage. Mrs. Folchini reiterated the urgent and immediate improvement of democratic processes and strengthening the rule of law, governance, human rights and equality between men and women. Mrs. Cecile concluded with “It is in that light that I challenge all of us to propose solutions to support the economy because it is in the heart of development, also to build a solidarity that is lived and shared by all.”

The first strategic thrust is to promote the economic center inclusive economy, seeking equity, and reduce social inequities, social participation, promotion of peace and respect for the diversity of languages. Strengthen the negotiating capacity and French negotiation and decision making; promote the use of French in all legal areas particularly in economic areas.

Dr. Rene Kouassi, director Economic Affairs AUC in his closing remarks emphasized on the implementation of the strategies. He asked the question of how to implement the two strategies, there are several risks involved. Such as financing and Resources, the issues of conflicts, epidemics, floods, deflation that may compromise the work being done. These two agendas however, seek to assist Africa. If the two agendas are implemented Africa will practice prosperity.

Furthermore, he added that on the 30th of March, in light with the 2016 Conference of Ministers of Finance, another Session of the Conference Debate in partnership with Save the Children will be held in order to monitor the evaluation.

H.E. Mr. Mohammed Idriss Farah representative of the Republic of Djibouti of the African Union in his closing remarks thanked the embassy of Canada for giving Djibouti the chance to take part. He expressed that when talking about language, it is the leaders of tomorrow that are being trained. He further stated that visa is a major issue that should be raised in such forums. He acknowledged all the stakeholders and members for giving Djibouti the chance to give the closing remarks.