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Wednesday, 03 August 2011

AU and UK minister for Africa discuss trade opportunities

The United Kingdom's Minister for Africa, Henry Bellingham, met with African Union (AU) Deputy Chair Erastus Mwencha to discuss: trade; the drought crisis in the Horn of Africa; regional integration in Africa being enhanced through the Regional Economic Communities (RECs); the outcomes of the 17th AU Summit; and preparations for the 18th AU Summit.

During the discussions, on 21 July 2011, the parties lauded the role of the UK Government in promoting intra-African trade, and noted the undertakings for improving the quantity and quality of production in order to meet global standards. The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) under the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) was highlighted for its work in promoting and increasing agricultural investment at national and regional levels. The importance of the RECs to ensure that AU policies are implemented effectively also was highlighted.

Discussions on the humanitarian emergency created by the drought crisis in the Horn of Africa highlighted the AU's leadership role in ensuring that adequate humanitarian assistance reaches the victims. Mwencha noted that the AU and partner organizations will be visiting sites to find solutions to this crisis. Additionally, the UK Government asked to be admitted as observers to the 18th AU Summit.

Source: African Union