Development cooperation is always valuable - Swiss Minister

APA - Dakar (Senegal) By Abdourahmane Diallo

Development cooperation, even if it has evolved considerably in its approaches and thematised challenges, still remains a useful instrument, said Swiss Secretary of State Pascale Baeriswyl in an interview published Friday on the information portal Reflets

However, “the ultimate goal of (development) cooperation is to disappear: once the people (for whom it is intended) have taken full control of their destiny, international aid will have become superfluous,” she put into perspective.


The Secretary of State, who addressed various topics during the interview, largely spoke about the diplomatic and economic relations between the Swiss federation and Africa.


With regard to the economic aspect, Ms. Baeriswyl said that Switzerland was particularly interested in strengthening its trade and economic relations with Africa, given the great potential of the continent.


She said Switzerland is negotiating bilateral agreements with a large number of African countries to strengthen investment and trade. 

This includes the conclusion of agreements to eliminate double taxation and agreements on air transport, which are useful for trade and tourism.


The latter allows for the opening of direct flights between African countries and Switzerland, she stressed, recalling that Kenya Airways will inaugurate its Nairobi-Geneva flight in mid-June.


Turning to Africa’s place in Swiss diplomacy, the Secretary of State argued that Switzerland maintains dynamic and extremely diversified relations with the continent and that the latter is of great importance to her country.


As an example, she cited the recent official visit of the President of the Confederation Alain Berset to Kenya and South Africa, but also her trip to Kigali, Rwanda as that country marked the 25th anniversary of the genocide.


Baeriswyl took the opportunity to congratulate the African continent on the occasion of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), now the African Union (AU).



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