Vienna, 17 December 2018


A good evening to you, and allow me to amplify the Chancellor’s words of welcome. The presence of so many leaders from Europe and Africa is going to be productive and is very meaningful.

We have all been working hard to inject a new tone and energy into the Africa-Europe relationship. In fact, here tonight, myself speaking as the Chair of the African Union, there is also present President Al Sisi of Egypt, who is going to be the Chair after me, and the African Union Commission Chair Moussa Faki, and the Heads of State who are here.

This is to signify the importance we attach to this relationship between Europe and Africa. I think we are really starting to get somewhere.

I want to commend, once again, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz for this initiative and for inviting us to be here, and for me to be co-chairing and co-hosting this forum, during Austria’s presidency of the Council of the European Union.

I would also like to thank Austria, on behalf of the African Union and indeed all of us gathered here, for the very warm hospitality we are enjoying.

We have a busy day tomorrow, but for now let me once again say thank you and we should enjoy the rest of our evening in this extraordinary venue. Thank you very much.