Spain puts emphasis on Africa’s needs, challenges

The Spanish Ambassador to Ethiopia, Antonio Sanchez Benedito Gaspar said his country puts emphasis on the needs and challenges of Africa. In an exclusive interview with ENA, the ambassador said that Africans are severely affected by climate change and Spain will contribute its share in the efforts to address the issue.

He said Spain will hold the presidency of European Union (EU) as of the coming January and it is keen to place Africa’s agenda on board. EU- Africa ministerial meeting will take place in a few days in Addis Ababa, the ambassador said, adding, a high level Spanish delegation will take part in the meeting. The event will be an opportunity for the delegation to confer on Africa’s needs and challenges.

The ambassador said the issue of climate change requires a holistic approach and his government is forging efforts in this direction. Hence, he said the Spanish Prime Minister recommended at the G-20 Summit held in Pittsburg, USA that 0.7 percent of GDP of countries should be allocated for the question of climate.

He said the Copenhagen climate change conference is an opportunity for Africa as the continent can speak with a single voice for the very pressing issues of today. Antonio said Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who will be the spokesperson of Africa, is making the world know what is at stake since climate change is a matter of survival for African countries. The ambassador expressed hope that there will be concrete out comes at Copenhagen.

Countries will be able to tackle the issues as the international community has become aware of climate change , which is becoming necessity and urgency of the time, he said. The public and government are demanding developed nations to take a clear stand on climate change and the time has come to take measures to tackle the issue, the ambassador said.

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