MADRID (AP) – The head of the Spanish government on Thursday embarked on a short tour of two important African countries in a new European campaign to strengthen its ties with the neighboring continent and reduce migration flows, which could result in a number of fears. Corona virus infection.
Sanchez, who was traveling with representatives of a dozen Spanish companies, was scheduled to meet with Angolan President Joao Lurenko when he stopped in Luanda on Thursday and Senegal’s President Mackie Road in Tucker on Friday.
Sanchez will head to business meetings in both countries and meet with Spanish police officers working with their Senegalese counterparts to continue human trafficking off the West African coast.
Africa has a lower proportion of corona virus cases and deaths than Europe. But officials in Madrid fear that the effects of job isolation and the effects of the global economic crisis could lead to frequent trips through Spain to make the perilous journey from Africa to the European shores.
By 2020, about 41,000 people came to Spain from Morocco and West Africa. More than half came by boat to the Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago off the Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of Africa.
Spanish authorities keep thousands of migrants, including asylum seekers, in designated camps on the islands and hope to return to their home countries as soon as possible, either voluntarily or through agreements with African governments. Part of that plan includes the re-launch of compulsory return flights to Senegal, which has been suspended since 2018.
Another step is Spain’s limited investment and trade relations with neighboring continents as a way to boost African economies and deter immigration. In 2019, nearly one-fifth of Spanish exports went to Africa, valued at 19,000 million euros ($ 22,000 million). Imports to Spain during the same period were 27,000 million euros.
The Socialist, who leads a left-wing coalition, says Sanchez wants to turn the 2020-2030 period into “Spain’s decade in Africa”, with Angola and Senegal among the priority countries for the three-year operation. Focusing on Africa.
The president is pending a key role in curbing the influx of immigrants trying to cross the European border into Morocco and his southern neighbor. However, due to the corona virus infection, the authorities of the two countries canceled the last meeting attempt in December. No new date set.