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Friday, 22 October 2010

Push for EU to Help Continent Meet MDGs

South Africa wants to sway the European Union (EU) to assist struggling African countries meet their Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) ahead of the 2015 deadline set by the United Nations. Speaking to reporters on Thursday following the recent EU-South Africa summit held in Brussels, International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Maite Nkoana Mashabane, said most European countries had expressed a willingness to help developing nations meet their socio-economic obligations as hig  MDGs are the world's time-bound and quantified targets for addressing extreme poverty and diseases that continue to ravage poor counties. The EU, with no less than 27 European countries, mainly from the rich west, is seen as a strategic partner for Africa's growing economies. Nkoana-Mashabane said despite the challenges, all parties remained convinced that MDGs will be realised if partners in the international community "demonstrate strong political commitment in implementing policies." The summit also agreed to a partnership of cooperation between South Africa and EU countries on matters relating to the global economy and financial crisis, climate change, food security and energy scarcity hlighted in the MDGs.  South Africa will continue to play a crucial role in peacekeeping missions within the African continent but the EU would need to demonstrate its commitment towards a stable Africa by, among others, lifting the sanctions against Zimbabwe. Earlier this week, both President Jacob Zuma and his Botswana counterpart Ian Khama called on the western countries to consider ending their targeted economic sanctions against Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and members of his government. This is a position also supported by regional body SADC.

Source: Allafrica