News »

Ratas at the African Union – EU Summit: we must invest in sectors of the economy that interest young people


Côte d’Ivoire, Abidjan, 29 November 2017 – “Our young people deserve to be supported by their governments in increasing their quality of life. It is essential to support investments in digital economy and other sectors of the economy which interest young people and ensure employment for them. Entrepreneurship – especially small and medium-sized enterprises – offers the most opportunities for this. We must find ways to support their creation both in Africa and Europe,” said Prime Minister Jüri Ratas in his opening speech of the meeting of the heads of government of Europe and Africa on ways to create economic opportunities for young people.

“Digital economy provides new prospects for economic growth. If young people see opportunities in their home country for development, participation in society, career, and safely starting a family, they are less likely to search for a better life in Europe,” said Ratas. The prime minister added that investment should begin from as early as primary school, where boys and girls must have equal opportunities to get an education.

According to the prime minister, Africa is increasingly contributing to economic growth and innovation, but this will lead to results only if there is peace and stability. “Africa is a very important neighbour for Europe. Everything that happens in Africa affects Europe and vice versa. The plan of the African Union to silence the guns in Africa by 2020 is certainly a step towards peace, stability, and reconciliation,” said Ratas.

Ratas believes that the fifth African Union and European Union Summit, which began today, provides a valuable opportunity for renewing and tightening the cooperation between the two continents. Participants of the summit include 83 heads of state from Europe and Africa, representatives of the institutions of the European Union and the African Union, as well as non-profit associations and undertakings.

According to the prime minister, the most complicated negotiations on migration and security are still ahead of us. “On the one hand, we must stop illegal immigration to Europe and send those who have entered Europe illegally back home safely. On the other hand, we must establish legal migration routes and enable entrance to those who need protection. Europe should not turn away anyone who needs help but we can only solve this situation with the help of the countries that people are currently emigrating from,” said the prime minister.

During the summit, the prime minster will meet several African leaders. Today, he will meet with the leaders of Seychelles, Algeria, Mauritius, Niger, the Republic of South Africa, and Zambia.


© Permanent Representation to the UN 3 Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, 305 East 47th Street, 6th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10017,
tel. (1 212) 883 06 40, e-mail: