ACP-EU-JPA: Promotion of good governance high on agenda

13 Jun 2016 14:10pm
WINDHOEK, 13 JUN (NAMPA) – Despite development aid pumped into African countries, more money leaves the shores of the continent as a result of corruption, a senior European parliamentarian says.
“For every Euro the European Union (EU) pumps into Africa, some Euro 10 leaves the continent through illicit trade. We need to rectify this,” said Michael Gahler, the chairperson of the European Parliament delegation for relations with the Pan-African Parliament.
He was speaking at a media conference prior to the opening of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States - European Union Joint Parliamentary Assembly (ACP-EU-JPA) session underway here.
Gahler said the session will prioritise issues pertaining to good governance.
He stated that there was a need to devise strategies to curb high levels of corruption among some African states, which has cost such governments dearly in the form of high volumes of illicit financial flows from the continent.
African countries continue to bear the brunt of these illicit financial flows due to corruption.
“Our discussions will amongst others centre around how we can help promote good democratic governance bent on rooting out corruption.
“We do not intend on interfering, but our focus is on promoting equal thriving relations with ACP countries,” said Gahler.
The session will also discuss regional integration, migration of Africans into Europe and trade promotion between the EU and ACP member states.
Delegates will set into motion talks aimed at preparing for a post-Cotonou agreement era. The current Cotonou Agreement will expire in 2020.
The Cotonou Agreement is a treaty between the European Union and ACP countries, signed in June 2000 in Cotonou, Benin by 78 ACP countries and 15 member states of the European Union.
It entered into force in 2003 and was subsequently revised in 2005 and 2010.
The Cotonou Agreement is aimed at the reduction and eventual eradication of poverty while contributing to sustainable development and to the gradual integration of ACP countries into the world economy.
The ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly was created out of a common desire to bring together the elected representatives of the European community and the elected representatives of the ACP countries that have signed the Cotonou Agreement.
A substantial part of the work of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly is directed towards promoting human rights and democracy and the common values of humanity, and this has produced joint commitments undertaken within the framework of the United Nations conferences.