The Minister of People’s Power for Foreign Affairs, Nicolás Maduro, held a meeting on Monday with the National Preparatory Committee for the II South America - Africa Summit (ASA), to take place September 14 – 19 in Caracas, Venezuela.
Minister Maduro and Chairman of the African Union Commission, Jean Ping, presided over the meeting, and raised issues on the agenda of the II ASA Summit. Both diplomats set out very clear criteria for the expectations of the summit, which will be attended by dignitaries from more than 60 nations.
The Venezuelan minister specified that “we share in the concept that this is the people’s summit. It will be a summit of cultural expression and the strength of African roots that are present in our South American continent. The summit will include the diverse cultural movements of Africa.”
Maduro explained that in preparing the issues, both delegations have agreed upon the necessity of creating a concrete agenda for decisions in the areas of finance, economy, commerce, health, education, communication, and culture.
“The working committees are well advanced in these different issues. There is a great deal of optimism for the advancement of a concrete agenda; and decisions could be assumed by the presidents as a working program for the coming years,” stated Maduro.
“Africa is a large political, economic, cultural and human pole, and South America is another great pole. These two poles united in a summit to move forward together and over the next decade to develop a multi-polar world. A world of balance and justice, the one that the Liberator Simón Bolívar dreamed, and the one that President Hugo Chávez discusses all the time. We are very optimistic and have great confidence in this relationship with Africa and this work that we have done,” continued Maduro.
Multiple Mechanisms between Africa and South America
The Venezuelan diplomat expressed that mechanisms established “for example, in financial issues, have assumed the concept of the Bank of the South, a system of multiple mechanisms that let Africa and South America rise to independence with investment and finance between the regions.”
In the fields of communication and culture, they have discussed the value and necessity of installing a television system between the two continents, such as the media outlet TeleSur..
Also, in healthcare, both delegations have expressed the desire to work together to combat certain illnesses, like AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, as well as to build capacity to produce medicines that lessen the effects of these diseases.
In education, projects will be shared such as the University of the South. Minister Maduro emphasized that the II ASA summit “will be a gigantic advancement in historical relations between us and our Motherland Africa, as President Chávez and Venezuela has said.”
Radio Nacional de Venezuela, Press Unit of the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the United States / June 9, 2009