International conference on Africa-EU partnership takes place at Foreign Ministry
On 28 May, the international conference “Lithuanian Development Cooperation: Contribution to the Africa-EU Partnership” was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania. The event focused on the possibility for the Baltic states to engage in mutually beneficial cooperation with African countries.
“Lithuania has accumulated solid experience of development cooperation with Eastern Partnership countries. By sharing best practices and reform experiences, Lithuania is ready to contribute to the Africa-EU partnership,” the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius said in his opening statement.
During discussions, participants of the conference presented African countries' priorities in the context of the Africa-EU partnership and discussed the newest trends in international development cooperation in Africa. Special attention was given to the issue of sustainable investments, to job creation in the region, and to the implementation of the EU's External Investment Plan.
Participants also debated the possibility for Lithuania and other Baltic states to become more involved in development cooperation activities in the region. Attention was drawn to the fact that Lithuania's successful experience in cooperation with the Eastern Partnership countries could serve as a model for building a mutually beneficial partnership in Africa.
On the margins of the conference, the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Neris Germanas and the Director of Multilateral Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mali Modibo Traore signed an agreement for the establishment of a mechanism for political consultations. This is an important step forward towards deepening cooperation between the two countries.
Currently, Lithuania is implementing projects in Nigeria, Ivory Coast, and Mali. The projects aim to contribute to the development of information technology, to promote entrepreneurship amongst young people and women, and to improve the quality of agricultural products.
The conference is organized as part of the implementation phase of the project “Improvement implementation of Lithuanian development cooperation policy and strengthening capacities of Lithuanian public administration institutions and their employees” funded under the Operational Programme for EU Funds' Investments for 2014-2020. The project is implemented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the Central Project Management Agency.