Caracas, June 23rd 2013 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – At a Africa-South America organization (ASA) meeting held in Caracas on Friday, delegations from both continents agreed to strengthen regional cooperation through political and financial means.
Representatives proposed the creation of a permanent secretary for the ASA fund, which would move toward making the organization “a legal entity equivalent to other multilateral organizations,” according to Samuel Moncada, the forum chair and the fund’s current executive secretary.
“For the first time in history, South America and Africa are united,” he added.
The foreign ministry’s vice-minister for Africa, Reinaldo Bolivar mentioned that after an open debate, the representatives indicated a mutual interest in using the fund as a basis for “addressing all areas of bi-regional cooperation,” including agriculture, education, infrastructure, and science and technology.
Venezuelan foreign minister Elias Jaua explained that this cooperation would allow for “permanent, reliable funding for joint development.”
“Both of us, Africa and South America, are leading reserves of strategic minerals, precious stones, water, fertile soils, hydrocarbons, forests, fishing resources, and biodiversity; elements that can promote productive development in a way that allows us to go beyond neocolonialism,” he said.
“We have the strength and the resources for this bilaterial financial institution. Venezuela is ready because we believe in a multipolar, multicentric world,” Jaua said.
Initiated from talks between former Brazilian President Lula da Silva and former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2004, the ASA has expanded to include 54 African and 12 South American countries. The first of its three summits took place in Nigeria in 2006, where current Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro represented Venezuela as the country’s foreign minister.
In addition to Venezuela, Friday’s meeting included representatives from 14 countries, including Argentina, Brazil, South Africa and Uganda.