African Union (AU) Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui is looking to deepen the organization’s ties with European nations just as Poland moves to strengthen economic relations with various countries across the continent.
Chergui this week met with Polish Ambassador, Aleksander Kropiwnicki.
“We discussed cooperation between the AU and Poland, within the framework of Poland’s United Nations Security Council Membership,” he explained.
Over the past week, Chergui has met with Ambassador Mette Thygesen of Denmark and Alex Rondos, European Union (EU) Special Representative for the Horn of Africa. The delegates discussed areas of mutual interest.
Kropiwnicki’s visit comes at a time when Poland has shown increasing interest in various sectors that drive Africa’s economic growth.
Mid last year, Poland’s President Andrzej Duda visited a plant operated by Polish tractor manufacturer Ursus in Ethiopia, and encouraged more companies to invest in Africa.
The Ursus venture is part of an initiative dubbed the GoAfrica business programme set up by the Polish government.
GoAfrica is a strategy aimed at supporting export and expansion of Polish enterprises in the continent.
Poland’s investments in Africa have been on an upward trajectory from as early as 2013 when the country’s exports to the continent increased by as much as 22% to be valued at $4.5 billion.
Poland’s information and foreign investments promotion agency (PAIiIZ) along with the country’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, launched the Go Africa project nearly five years ago.
By 2015, Polish business missions presented their offer in Algeria, Ghana. Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Zambia.
“I would like as many Polish entrepreneurs and Polish companies as possible to make use of this programme, to become interested in the African market because these are huge countries with great potential,” President Dida said at the time.
Ursus stated that the value of contracts at its Ethiopia arm over the last four years amounted to an estimated $110 million.
In early 2017, the Polish Ministry of Development stated that it would be launching a new trade and investment agency aimed at helping Polish businesses expand abroad, with a focus on Asian and African markets.
Poland recently hosted an event titled the First Polish-Nigeria Business and Investment Summit (PONBIS), bringing together major economic and political players from both countries.
The two countries have since resolved to increase the quantum of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of Poland in Nigeria and vice-versa.