These initiatives follow up on the commitments made at the 5th AU-EU Summit, which was held in November 2017 in Abidjan, notably deepening and expanding cooperation in science and technology; agribusiness and renewable energy, blue and green economy; skills and education; governance and election observation and peace and security.
€400 million to support continental and interregional development in Africa
In support of the Africa-EU Partnership, the EU has launched the second phase of the Pan-African Programme* for an amount of €400 million (2018-2020). Projects at continental or interregional level in Africa will focus on three main strategic areas:
- It will boost the AU-EU political dialogue in areas of joint interest, including migration, and advocate for an effective system of good governance at pan-African level. For instance, initiatives will support the work of the AU institutions in the fields of human rights, election observation and on combatting corruption.
- Special focus will be given to enhancing young people's employability and mobility, and promoting technological innovation. The funding will for example reinforce exchange programmes among African universities based on the Erasmus experience and support the recognition of qualifications and the harmonisation of higher education in Africa, inspired by the EU's Bologna Process.
- Supporting African continental economic integration, the programme will facilitate trade and investments and the development of inter-regional infrastructure. For instance, it will support the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area through programmes focusing on lowering technical barriers to trade and harmonising African policies, standards and regulations, including in the digital and air transport markets.
The Pan-African Programme is the first ever EU programme in development and cooperation that covers Africa as a whole. It was adopted in 2014 for a total budget of €845 million, as a dedicated financial instrument to support the Africa-EU Partnership. The first phase of the programme 2014-2017 helped to progress on the operationalisation of the AU Human Rights system. Moreover, it played a significant role in promoting migration dialogue and in supporting the AU Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa. Through its second phase, the Pan-African Programme will continue its support to these and new projects with an added value for both the African and European continent.
In light of today's increasingly complex threats and the need to address their root causes, Africa and the EU have a joint interest to strengthen their partnership on peace and security, and to enhance strategic cooperation on global challenges. The European Union and the African Union Commission agree on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which will become the main tool dealing with peace and security challenges and their response strategies. This will bring the EU-AU dialogue to a more structured level.
The MoU covers a wide number of areas in peace, security and governance, including tackling root causes, crisis management, mediation, cross border security, conflict resolution and support in electoral matters. The MoU establishes a specific Counterterrorism Dialogue and provides for twice yearly consultations at Senior Official level to ensure planning and implementation of the provisions in the MoU.
The EU continues to be the first supporter of the African Union and regional economic communities to pursue the objective of 'African solutions to African problems', especially in the peace and security area. More than €2.7 billion has been committed to the African Peace Facility since 2003, thereby allowing for the development of the African Peace and Security Architecture and its further contribution towards the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts.
The Taskforce Rural Africa
The European Commission will set up a Task Force of experts on rural Africa to provide expertise, advice and possible recommendations to the African Union Commission partners in relation to agriculture, agri-business and agro-industries. Food and farming have a prominent role to play in strengthening the partnership with the African Union. Unleashing the potential of the sector can contribute to economic growth and generate decent employment opportunities for Africa's increasing young population. The institutions of the EU and AU indeed have been engaging in regular policy dialogue in this sector. The EU-AU Agriculture Ministerial Conference “Making Sustainable Agriculture a future for youth in Africa" of 2017 being a good example of stronger cooperation.
The joint EU-AU task force on digital economy
To deepen the AU-EU cooperation in the field of digital economy, the two Commissions will set up a joint task force. It will be comprised by African and European decision-makers, entrepreneurs and civil society representatives that will steer the future work on this subject.
Strategic orientations and priorities for the continental dialogue on migration
The European Commission and African Union Commission agree on strategic orientations and priorities for a continental dialogue on migration and mobility, complementary to other existing frameworks such as the Rabat and Khartoum Processes and the Joint Valetta Action Plan. The dialogue will provide a platform which will address and respond to continental issues pertaining to migration and mobility between the EU and Africa, including their root causes.
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*Corrected on 25/05/2018 at 15:10