Tuesday, September 29, 2009



PORLAMAR, Venezuela
September 28 2009

The second Africa-South America Summit (ASA) has ended here with the adoption of the Declaration of Nueva Esparta as leaders vowed to promote South-South cooperation.

According to the 30-page document, South American and African countries reaffirmed their "commitment to promote South-South cooperation as the main objective of the two regions, so as to complement the traditional North-South cooperation" and "promote sustained economic growth ... in the two regions."

The countries have also promised to "exchange their experiences and encourage a close and effective cooperation between the two regions, with the strong support of the African Union (AU) and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), as main pillars of cooperation between our peoples."

To achieve these objectives, ASA countries have decided to "strengthen the monitoring mechanism" established at the first summit of the ASA I, held in 2006 in Abuja, Nigeria.

The second summit of the SAA, which ended Sunday in the northeastern Venezuelan city of Porlamar, brought together some 30heads of state and government, as well as senior officials from 66 countries in both regions.

President of Niger, Mamadou Tandja, said "the South-South alliance will give our countries the chance to break the vicious circle of poverty" because it would be both innovative and strategic, which undoubtedly contributes to the integration and sustainable development in the developing countries, which had been plunged into poverty and domination."We see as a reality the ambitions that Africa and South America will take to build prosperity for their peoples," said Tandja.

Meanwhile, Malian President Toure Armadou Toumari said the ASAsummit helps to implement the cooperative agreements between the two continents.

"If this alliance between the countries of South America and Africa achieved its stated objectives, it can shape the future of the world, "said Kenyan Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka. "To realize concrete results in this regard, we must promote democracy, good governance and respect for human rights in our countries. Our people are asking us to do better," he said in a speech.

During the two-day summit, several agreements of cooperation were signed, including one between Venezuela and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on agricultural cooperation with Africa.

According to the agreement, Venezuela will provide seeds, fertilizers and vaccines for agricultural production. It also intends to help African countries make tools for agricultural use, organize seminars on agriculture and provide technical training.

Moreover, Venezuela could offer scholarships to African students studying in the American country, said Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Venezuela has also signed a memorandum of agreement with SierraLeone for the creation of a joint mining venture. According to Chavez, Venezuela will sign similar agreements with Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Namibia and South Africa. "I promise you that we will see good results, because we have been successful in the field of mining," he said.

The third summit of the ASA will be held in 2011 in Libya.