LJUBLJANA, Slovenia – Minister Dr Cerar’s opening speech, which was followed by addresses from eminent guests, marked the launch of the 8th Africa Day international conference organised by the Foreign Ministry in cooperation with partners.
Apart from Minister Cerar, the participants from numerous African and European countries were addressed by Luis Filipe Tavares, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defense of Cabo Verde, by Sylvie Baïpo-Temon, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Central African Republic, and by Mohammad Habibu Tijani, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of Ghana. The aim of the event is to foster and deepen cooperation between Slovenia and African countries in politics, business and other areas.
In his opening speech, Dr Cerar expressed his satisfaction that the conference, which has become a regular event in the Slovenian political and economic life, confirms Slovenia’s determination to further enhance political, economic and cultural cooperation with African countries.
“Today’s world has become extremely interconnected and interdependent. This brings many advantages, but nevertheless poses new regional and global challenges dictating stronger partnerships and common approaches,” the Minister said. He added that sustainable development cannot be achieved without peace and stability, democracy and respect for human rights. Slovenia strives to implement the global development goals defined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and supports the African Union’s 2063 Agenda.
At the outset, the Minister called for “forging yet stronger relations between Slovenia and African countries through new forms of bilateral political, economic and development partnership”. In this context, he noted the Memorandum of Understanding on Economic Cooperation with Ghana, which was signed today.
In efforts to strengthen cooperation with African countries, the Ministry is implementing a five-year medium-term cooperation plan between Slovenia and Sub-Saharan countries based on the existing Framework of Cooperation between Slovenia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Minister Dr Cerar outlined the main topic of this year’s conference, namely the future relations between Africa and Europe through the prism of demographic change, employment opportunities, and migration patterns. Inclusive economic growth, development of human capital, and job creation will be among other major topics.
Opening remarks by Minister of Economic Development and Technology Zdravko Počivalšek, his Ghanaian counterpart, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, and State Secretary Dobran Božič will introduce the afternoon session. Exploring the potential of African markets and high-tech, innovative solutions of Slovenian businesses, the ensuing panel will contribute to enhancing existing economic ties and establishing new ones. Business environments in Ghana and Ethiopia will be in the focus.
On the second day of the conference, the delegations will have the opportunity to visit selected Slovenian companies. Particular emphasis will be given to bee-keeping and honey-based products. A visit to the newly established Beekeeping Academy of Slovenia will be organised.
During the Conference, from 13 to 20 May 2019, a rich accompanying cultural programme will be organised in cooperation with the Municipality of Ljubljana, the Slovene Ethnographic Museum, the Velenje Museum, the Ljubljana City Library, the Slovenian Cinematheque, and African expatriates.