February 26. 2024. 5:02

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Portuguese PM endorses EU-Africa pact to regulate migration

Prime Minister António Costa endorsed the EU-Africa pact aimed at regulating migration flows, punishing human traffickers and promoting legal channels for migration on the sidelines of the African Union Summit, during which he was the only non-African leader to attend as an observer.

Costa spoke to Lusa on the sidelines of the 36th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa that ended on Sunday.

“The neighbourhood coexists, and this coexistence has to be duly regulated and not be an opportunity for organised crime and a threat to the lives of all those who want to find new life opportunities on the other side of the Mediterranean,” said Costa, noting that legal migration channels need to be defined at the same time.

“We have to find a positive solution for everyone, because Europe undoubtedly needs more human resources”, and “Africa has human resources in abundance”, he added.

But “Europe also has to find ways of helping it to create new jobs in Africa so that we do not simply have a loss of human resources capacity on the African continent,” he added.

“It makes sense to bring back to Europe a set of industrial productions that have been transferred to Asia, and that can be located in Europe”, but “many can also be located in the African continent, helping to develop the continent”, he added.

This helps “create jobs that give hope to the youth of this continent and that they are not condemned to believe that only by risking their lives crossing the Mediterranean will they be able to find a decent job,” said Costa.

Despite the war in Ukraine disrupting relations between Europe and Africa, “the strategic projects that we approved a year ago at the EU-AU Summit have been moving forward,” said Costa.

There is a “need for us now to give a new boost to the implementation of these projects, not only because Europe, more than ever, needs to diversify its energy sources, but also because we need to invest heavily to give to the youngest continent in the world,” the Portuguese leader concluded.

(Paulo Agostinho| Lusa.pt)