Towards the Establishment of an Africa-Asia Forum on Sustainable Development

THE AFRICA 21 COMPACT

1. Project Rationale

In today’s globalized world, stronger and stronger interactions are occurring between regions. Asia and Africa are prominent examples of this kind of mutual nutrition. Although throughout history links and ties have existed between the two, it is crucial, given today’s challenges, to review existing cooperation mechanisms and to establish new ones if necessary. Especially those that would involve in an inclusive manner regional organizations, political leaders, business communities, academia, nongovernmental organizations, the media…

This concept note is about the establishment of a new Africa-Asia forum to be called the Africa 21 Compact, which purpose will be to ensure that this emerging partnership is mutually beneficial.

Towards a comprehensive Afro Asian partnership on sustainable development

The current cooperation between Africa and Asia is mainly of an economic nature and firmly illustrates the new trend of a South-South trade. Recently accelerating Asian trade and investment in Africa (China and India leading the way) hold great promise for Africa’s economic growth and development. In addition, most Asian countries have societies that are demanding natural resource-extractive commodities, agricultural goods such as cotton, and other traditional exports, as well as diversified, non-traditional exports, e.g.    processed commodities, light manufactured products, household consumer goods, food, or tourism.

However, it can be argued that at this stage the partnership between the two regions is characterized by trade imbalances, country concentration and one-sided initiatives.