Nearly thirty leaders from Africa and South America, led by Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and Libyan President Mu’ammar al-Ghaddafi, met over the weekend in Venezuela at the second annual South America-Africa Summit. The goal is to enhance cooperation and create more strategic partnerships, especially in areas of finance and energy. Seven South American leaders agreed to fund a $20 billion institution to fund development projects in Africa and South America, with Venezuela pledging a $4 billion contribution. Chilean President Michelle Bachelet discussed the possibly of funding it as well.
President Chávez announced a partnership with South Africa’s state oil company PetroSA for “oil exploration and development in hydrocarbons” along with energy alliances and projects with other African countries. Also present at the meeting was Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva who spoke of the “twenty-first century [as the] century of Africa and Latin America.”
Ghaddafi’s platform at the summit primarily called for a counterbalance to the North’s military treaties and the creation of “SATO” (a NATO of the South) by 2011—the year when Libya is scheduled to host the next summit.