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Wednesday, 08 December 2010

EU draws up plans to lure Africa's minerals

The European Commission is preparing plans that would see European firms build infrastructure in metal-rich African nations in exchange for access to key raw materials there, marking the EU's latest effort to counter China's dominance on the continent. The draft strategy, seen by EurActiv, underlines that the EU could get involved in directly funding infrastructure-building in Africa."The European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB), in co-operation with African countries, could assess the potential of promoting the most appropriate infrastructure that can contribute to the development of these countries and facilitate raw materials supply," reads the paper.This new approach is not meant to replicate the Chinese strategy, which has often been criticised in Europe for neglecting environmental and human rights concerns."Our approach would combine the Chinese focus on infrastructure with our traditional aid policy linked to governance developments," an official close to Tajani told EurActiv. Better governance in African countries is considered "essential for harnessing the benefits of mining, for both investors and civil society," underlines the draft paper.

Source: Euractiv

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