Cécile Kyenge: Mr Tajani, do you know where Africa is? Your silence speaks volumes

Cécile Kyenge

Commenting on the upcoming election for the president of the European Parliament, S&D MEP Cécile Kyenge argues that Gianni Pittella is clearly the best choice for a strong EU-Africa strategy:

"Africa is a political priority for the S&Ds. Over the past two and a half years, the S&D president, Gianni Pittella, has visited the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Ethiopia, as well as the African Union. Our Group has played a leading role in key legislation and parliamentary debates related to Africa, including on conflict minerals, the future of EU-ACP relations and the ethnic violence and institutional conflict in the DRC.

"We firmly believe that the EU needs a new and ambitious strategy towards this vast and rapidly changing continent that we consider as a land with enormous potential for the future. We can build a real partnership in areas such as energy, education, agriculture, investment and trade, while promoting human rights, social justice and democracy. 

"This ambition is far from the thoughts and concerns of Antonio Tajani, who, while Commissioner two and a half years ago, only referred to Africa in passing, mainly focusing on the interests of multinationals and relying on an outdated view of Africa as a place of poverty, migration, instability or dictatorship.

"Mr Tajani, your silence speaks volumes about your lack of vision, seeing African countries as a source of problems and resources rather than as real partners. This is not the kind of president of the European Parliament we need."