Mission to Dakar, La Verticale AME Foundation, November, 2021

Moubarack Lô, Jean-Marie Paintendre, Jean-Louis Guigou, Macky Sall, Cheikh Kante

This mission was centered on the audience with President Macky Sall, future president of the African Union for the year 2022, which took place on Monday, November 29th, 2021 at the Presidential Palace. 

The audience with President Macky Sall

The President was accompanied by Minister of State Cheikh Kante, charged by the President to prepare his future chairmanship of the AU and the EU-AU Summit. 

The year 2022 could be the historic year of the Africa-Europe relationship with an exceptional configuration involving two very complicit Presidents ; President Macky Sall, future President of the AU, and President Emmanuel Macron, future President of the EU ; both responsible in part for the EU-AU Summit of February 2022; both willing to open up new hopes (change of paradigm which implies a change in behavior, change of objective, change of strategy and method) and to implement new opportunities through concrete and useful projects.

La Verticale AME was discussed. The President embraces and loves the concept of a North-South vertical region. This is why he considers that the Europeans are “natural” partners linked by the proximity and complementarity of their economy, while the Chinese and Americans are “occasional” partners. He sees in La Verticale AME a geographical, economic and cultural alliance that would be part of a long-term partnership (10-15 years vision). 

The topic of special economic zones (SEZs) remained central. SEZs are a niche market for Europe to seize by making them poles of development and modernity oriented towards co-production. The President is willing to share with his determination to promote a new generation of SEZs in Africa. President Macky Sall wants to promote co-investment.

On November 29th morning, we visited the Diamniado SEZ, 20km from Dakar. This is a very large and impressive governmental operation consisting of a technopole with an administrative data center, a new city and a SEZ near the large national stadium built by a Turkish company, a few kilometers from a port and the new Dakar airport, also built by a Turkish company.

This meeting is an opportunity to confirm the principles of La Verticale AME Foundation (autonomous, with a joint administration, and working in the long term), to demonstrate its relevance and added value through projects carried out by scientists, companies and politicians from the three areas of Africa, Mediterranean and Europe.

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