Migration crisis to dominate EU-Africa summit

There is growing concern that EU aid to Africa is being used to block refugees and migrants - instead of for development.

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    Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso - Leaders from Europe and Africa are holding their first joint summit in the Ivorian capital, in what will be the first time the African Union will represent the continent in talks with the European Union.

    Officials say the meeting in Abidjan this week will herald in a new partnership between the two entities based on equality and will benefit youth leaders in both parts of the world.

    Donald Tusk, the European Council president, especially welcomed African and European youth to the summit on Wednesday.

    "Our task as leaders is to take decisions that will make the future safer and more prosperous for all of our youth, both African and European," Tusk said in his opening remarks.

    The EU is the largest aid donor to African countries, giving $20bn annually.

    However there is growing concern that EU aid to African nations is being used to block refugees and migrants from arriving on Europe's doorstep, instead of going towards development projects on the continent.

    "The European Parliament has been very clear about that: we don't think development aid funding should be spent on border controls," said Linda Mcavan, a UK member of the European Parliament.

    "We want development aid funding spending spent on the ground ... reducing poverty in the world and making peoples' lives better," she told Al Jazeera.

    Some also fear the money is contributing to chaotic scenes of African asylum seekers attempting to cross into Europe, or to the increasingly dire situation in Libya.

    CNN footage was released this month showing African aslyum seekers and migrants being sold at slave auctions in Libya.

    The United Nations Security Council convened an emergency meeting to discuss the possibility of applying sanctions on anyone involved in slave-trading in the country.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News


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