Ilaria Bellacci

active 3 months ago

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The real questions should be: what kind of Europe does Africa need? Although the two continents are intertwined by historical and economic bonds – Europe cannot be of any practical help for Africa if the first does not speak as a strong and unite civil power and does not overcome its colonial(ist) heritage. Failing in doing so, means leaving room for other international actors to take advantage of this opportunity. China is already providing Africa with financial support to build public infrastructures in exchange for the exploitation of the African soil and energy resources. Chinese products have also invaded the African markets, as they represent a cheap alternative to other international products, branded goods, or to starvation. Europe should then invest in a long-term development plan for Africa, complying with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and engage in peer-to-peer and socially responsible business relations. Only by supporting Africa’s economic (and cultural) empowerment, Europe can really be helpful for Africa, and viceversa. In this respect, access to energy is key. For decades, Africa has been exploited in many ways for its resources – and such uneven economic relations have left the continent in a subordinate position. Such exploitation have also created huge unbalances, not only between Europe and Africa, but also between the African countries that could minimally benefit of this trade, and those that could not. Nowadays, Europe, investing on the usage of renewable energy, trough photovoltaic technologies, wind turbines, etc. , could initiate a virtuous circle of long term development, filling the economic gaps and empowering African people – that could afford reliable and clean energy for their domestic and business activities.

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