The French Embassy in Pretoria has reported that France was looking forward, with much anticipation, to the Africa-France Summit and the International Financing Summit for Africa, which would both be held in the country this year. The Africa-France Summit was scheduled to take place at Montpellier (in the south of France) in July, while the International Financing Summit should take place in May in Paris.
“France, as it has done in the past, will stand with South Africa and the African continent,” affirmed the Embassy. A most important example of this was France’s role in the Covax initiative, to ensure that developing countries would be able to access vaccines against Covid-19. The Embassy also cited the roles of the World Health Organisation, the European Union and South Africa in the development of this initiative.
Another key example was the joint leadership of France and South Africa at the Group of 20 major economies on the issue of a debt moratorium for African countries, because of the economic crisis resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. Indeed, the purpose of the May financing summit was to support the economic recovery of African countries.
The Africa-France Summit in July would strengthen and reaffirm ties between Africa and Europe, not just France. It would be attended by innovators, entrepreneurs, local leaders and representatives of civil society, as well as national leaders.
“France is also reaching out to the youth, artists, and entrepreneurs on the African continent through the ‘Africa 2020’ cultural season, which started last December and will run for six months,” highlighted the Embassy. “These are just some of the projects we remain committed to in 2021 – as we work to strengthen the relationship and partnership between France and South Africa.”
France would also host other major international conferences this year. They included the United Nations Forum for Gender Equality and the World Congress for Nature, each of which would deal with crucially important issues. The latter conference would help African and European countries prepare for the COP26 global climate summit in the UK at the end of the year.