Trade issues dominate Franco-African summit

5th December 2005, Comments 0 comments

BAMAKO, Dec 4 (AFP) - A Franco-African summit called for Africa's most pressing development needs to be taken into account in global trade liberalisation talks in its final statement here Sunday.

BAMAKO, Dec 4 (AFP) - A Franco-African summit called for Africa's most pressing development needs to be taken into account in global trade liberalisation talks in its final statement here Sunday.

Ahead of a December 13-18 World Trade Organisation meeting in Hong Kong, the Bamako summit urged ministers to "take into account, in the context of the trade negotiations, the priorities for development in Africa".

African leaders and French President Jacques Chirac, in their final statement, also said illegal immigration was "closely linked to the difficult economic situation experienced by African countries".

The solution, the statement continued, involves "the development of those countries through increased support from the industrialised world and new arrangements on debt".

They proposed a Euro-African investment fund be set up to help young people, in conjunction with "continuation by France of its persuasion of other partners of the desirability of a solidarity levy on air tickets".

France plans to tax airline passengers to help pay for health programmes in the world's poorest countries.

Turning to the crisis in divided Ivory Coast, the summiteers highlighted the urgency in naming quickly a new prime minister "if the chances of reconciliation were to be preserved".

And they called for more financial help to support national and regional efforts to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases.

Heads of state and government reaffirmed their commitment to step up the fight against HIV/AIDS "through a strengthening of national health systems", it added.

Chirac on Sunday ruled out any connection between polygamy and recent rioting in French suburbs with large populations of immigrant origin, arguing that multiple marriage was banned in France.

His comments to reporters at the close of a two-day Franco-African summit followed a report that France's employment minister Gérard Larcher blamed polygamy for being one possible reason for the violence.

"There is no connection between the crisis we have seen recently in France and polygamy," Chirac said.

But, he said: "There is a problem linked to migration, to living conditions in a certain number of places in France which do not give young people sufficient chances."

France was trying to respond to the issues, he said.

Larcher blamed polygamy as one possible reason for the rioting, saying multiple marriages among immigrants were one cause of the racial discrimination faced by the country's ethnic minority population in the job market, according a report earlier this month.

France suffered nearly three weeks of unrest in its outlying suburbs, prompted by the accidental deaths of two teenagers in an electricity sub-station while hiding from police in a northern Paris suburb.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

0 Comments To This Article