Today, the 25th of March 2023, the Government of Malta commemorates Africa Day, the annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity on 25th May 1963. On this significant day Malta celebrates the enormous promise and potential of this diverse and dynamic neighbour continent.
Back in 2021, the Government of Malta launched a Strategy for Africa, reaffirming its commitment to engage with the Africa continent as partners for peace and growth. This strategy recognises the emergence of a pan-African economic community led by the African Union, known as the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which aims to unify the African market under a comprehensive trade agreement covering critical areas such as digital trade and investment protection. By removing barriers to trade in Africa, AfCFTA is poised to significantly boost intra-African trade creating a $1.3 trillion economy across 44 African countries and positively impacting on the lives of 1.2 billion people.
Recognising Malta’s strategic position with Africa was captured by European Commission President Ursula Van Der Leyen as “a bridge between two continents”. Malta’s strategy for Africa opens an opportunity for engagement with neighbours to create synergies for development, opportunities for growth and platforms for dialogue.
In February of this year, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade Ian Borg formally opened Malta’s new Embassy in Accra, Ghana and recently returned from official visits to Ethiopia, Rwanda and Seychelles to witness the dynamism that is the hallmark of Africa today. He plans to visit other countries in this continent during the next months.
“Thanks to our presence in Africa, we are successfully reaching out to new partners and new opportunities for trade and development. We are building on our membership of the EU as active members of Team Europe in Africa whilst consolidating our historical Commonwealth links. We are creating sustainable new jobs in Africa in emerging sectors. In this way we are addressing the challenges of our times and laying the groundwork for a new Africa”, said Minister Ian Borg.
On this 60th anniversary since the founding of the African Union, Minister Borg took the opportunity of Africa Day to mark Malta’s presence in Africa, reflecting on the early successes and considering how to best pave the way for enhanced growth through trade and a reinforced commitment to peace and security for all in Africa.