After unveiling its Africa III Plan, Madrid is refining its strategy. Thanks to its new cooperation program, called Focus Africa 2023, the kingdom intends to become in ten years a leading partner for the continent.
Since the launch of the Africa III Plan in 2019, Madrid has made the African continent the new priority of its foreign policy. “When Africa, in a few years, emerges as a stable and growing continent, Spain must have improved its diplomatic, political, entrepreneurial, economic presence”, explained Raimundo Robredo Rubio, the director general for Africa at Ministry of Foreign Affairs, during the presentation of Focus Africa 2023, on March 29 in Madrid. A summary that could not be clearer of the Spanish objectives on the continent.
The Madrid program includes different components on cooperation in the fields of migration, economy, security and support for the role of women in development. It brings together more than 250 actions to be carried out over the next two years, ranging from strengthening diplomatic and cultural ties to supporting investments by the Spanish private sector in Africa. Although the country has many companies based on the continent, trade with the latter represents only 6% of its exports and 7% of its imports.
Angola and Senegal, priority countries
“We are going to make the next ten years the decade of Spain in Africa”, added the head of government Pedro Sánchez, during the same presentation, in the presence of Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana. In the process, he flew to Angola and Senegal, two countries considered as priorities by Madrid. On April 8, in Luanda, he notably signed with João Lourenço, the Angolan president, an air transport agreement, as well as a memorandum of understanding in the sectors of agriculture, fishing and industry.