"The neighbourhood coexists and this coexistence has to be properly regulated and not be an opportunity for organised crime and a threat to the lives of all those who want to find new life opportunities on the other side of the Mediterranean," António Costa told Lusa, on the sidelines of the 36th summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU), which ended yesterday in Ababa, and in which he participated as an observer, being the only non-African official present.

In parallel, it is necessary to define legal migration channels, he argued.

"We have to find a solution here that is positive for everyone, because Europe undoubtedly needs more human resources" and "Africa has abundant human resources," said the head of government.

But "on the other hand, Europe also has to find ways to help it create new jobs on the African continent so that we do not simply have a loss of human resource capacity on the African continent", he added.

The European Union's new strategic growth lines are also an opportunity for this investment, as the covid-19 pandemic has created logistical constraints and affected many European industries that had relocated to Asia.

"It makes sense to bring back to Europe a set of industrial productions that have been transferred to Asia and can be located in Europe", but "many can also be located on the African continent, helping to develop the continent."

This helps "to create jobs that give hope to the youth of this continent and who are not condemned to think that only by endangering their lives crossing the Mediterranean can they find a decent job," said António Costa, who also held several bilateral meetings in Ababa.

"Despite all the disruption that the war [in Ukraine] has introduced over the course of this year in relations between Africa and Europe, the strategic projects that we a year ago proposed at the EU/AU Summit have advanced," Costa said.

There is a "need to give a new impetus in the realisation of these projects, and more because Europe, more than ever, needs to diversify its energy sources, but also because we need to invest heavily to give the world's youngest continent," concluded Portuguese.