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Senegalese President Macky Sall and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez during a welcome ceremony in Dakar. Senegalese President Macky Sall, left, and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez during a welcome ceremony at the presidential palace in Dakar, Senegal, April 9, 2021 (AP photo by Leo Correa).

Spain’s ‘Focus Africa’ Initiative Is Mainly About Domestic Politics

Monday, May 3, 2021

MALAGA, Spain—In early April, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez traveled to Angola and Senegal, accompanied by representatives of 12 Spanish companies he hopes will do business there. The visit followed the launch in late March of his ambitious Focus Africa 2023 project, which aims to increase Spain’s commercial presence and investment throughout the continent, as well as to improve economic opportunities and infrastructure in several sub-Saharan nations.

Closer to home, in terms of Sanchez’s political agenda, the project seeks to address the root causes of migration, with the hope that, in time, these improved circumstances will reduce the levels of undocumented arrivals in Spain from Africa, while making Madrid a “key strategic partner on the continent.” Sanchez has said that he wants the 2020s to be “Spain’s decade in Africa.” ...

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