(CNN)Leaders are gathering in Ivory Coast on Wednesday for an African Union-European Union summit intended to boost relations between the continents at a time when concerns over migration, security and opportunities for young people are at the fore.
Slavery, security on agenda as Merkel and Macron meet African leaders
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron are among the European leaders who will sit down with their African counterparts for the two-day summit in the capital, Abidjan.
The issue of human slave auctions in Libya is expected to be on the agenda, following recent reporting by CNN which revealed African migrants being sold as slaves in the capital, Tripoli, and elsewhere.
European Parliament President Antonio Tajani called in a speech Tuesday in Abidjan for the summit to "give fresh impetus to our relations," with a focus on investment in job creation and infrastructure to help manage an impending population explosion in Africa.
"Everything we do must focus on young people," said Tajani, as he warned that Europe risked being sidelined if it did not step up to the challenge. "This is of fundamental importance, as there is a danger of our relationship being shunted into the background by other players such as China and Turkey."
Tajani also condemned "the reemergence of a form of slavery" in Libya. "This is unacceptable, and we must not close our eyes to the phenomenon," he said. "This is why we need an honest, open discussion on the subject of migration."
Tajani tweeted that the summit "must put the African continent securely at the top of our political agenda. The time has come to deliver concrete results for the benefit of citizens on both continents."