Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Brey asked African leaders, including Equatorial Guinea’s President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, to consider his country a partner for growth at the assembly of the 23rd African Union Summit, held in Malabo.
In a speech at the opening session of the Assembly of Heads of State of the African Union Summit (AUS), Rajoy told the African leaders that he was in Equatorial Guinea to ask for more trade and investment with African countries.
“I am not here to offer anything because I do not have anything that Africans cannot give themselves. I come here to ask that you count Spain as a partner for your growth. I come to ask for more trade and more investment between our countries, and I come to reiterate that Spain wants to participate in the rebirth of Africa,” said Rajoy.
Rajoy said that Africa’s growth offered Europe a path of recovery while it battled an economic crisis. Over the past decade, Spain’s trade with Africa has grown by 250 percent. “Our investment in Africa is still small, but it has not stopped growing, even during the crisis. It should be normal for Spain to have much stronger relations with this continent than what they are now. We want to invest in Africa. The more prosperous Africa is, the more prosperous Spain will be,” said Rajoy.
“Peace, democracy and economic openness have allowed Africa to move forward,” Rajoy said.
Rajoy’s visit marks the highest-level Spanish trip to Equatorial Guinea in 23 years. Rajoy and Obiang met Wednesday before the assembly began.
In addition to Rajoy, the Secretary General of the United Nations, presidents of Egypt and the Palestinian State, and the Vice President of Cuba participated in the opening session.