- Today, African Union and European Union Commissions engaged on their strategic partnership and reviewed progress in the implementation of the joint commitments taken at the 6th EU-AU Summit in February 2022: renewed and enhanced cooperation for development, peace and security, enhanced and reciprocal partnership for migration and mobility and multilateralism and the Global Gateway Africa-Europe Investment Package in support of our common ambition for 2030 and the Africa Union’s Agenda 2063.
- The 11th Commission-to-Commission meeting between the European Union and the African Union was co-chaired by President Ursula von der Leyen and Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat. 20 EU Commissioners, the AU Commission Deputy Chairperson and 5 AU Commissioners participated, which is another demonstration of the strength of our partnership.
- The Commissions noted that this year the war in Ukraine further adversely impacted the economies of Europe and Africa. They referred to national positions as expressed in the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly. The European Commission condemns in the strongest possible terms the war of aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, which is illegal, unjustified and unprovoked and causing immense human suffering, and demands its complete and unconditional withdrawal from the territory of Ukraine.
- The two Commissions expressed deep concern with the challenges to global food and energy security exacerbated by current conflicts and tensions.
- In a series of working sessions, the two Commissions discussed the urgent issues facing both continents, and took stock of progress made in implementing the February Summit commitments in four key areas:
- Enhancing connectivity through economic integration: Digital, Energy, Transport, value chains and implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
- Boosting human development: Health, Education (including TVET), Science, Technology, Innovation, Migration and Mobility.
- Building resilience for people through sustainable Food systems, tackling Climate and Environmental crises, and Humanitarian action.
- Peace, Security and Governance.
Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat said: “We value our strategic partnership with the European Union and its active support to Agenda 2063. We are meeting here in Brussels today within the framework of the follow up on the implementation of the February 2022 EU-AU Summit. The destinies of our two continents are interlinked and we want to continue building a partnership of equals for the benefit of sustainable development for all.”
European Commission President von der Leyen said: “Africa and Europe are bound by geography and a common destiny. The renewed EU-Africa partnership, as reaffirmed in our Summit in February, is of utmost importance to shape our common future, and a signal of our confidence in the potential of our relationship, in particular in these troubled times. Through sustainable investments worth at least EUR 150 billion, the Global Gateway Africa-Europe Investment Package is the EU’s positive and substantiable offer, which will help strengthen the continent’s resilience.”
- To deliver on the commitments made at the Summit, the Commissions agreed to strengthen efforts to identify, facilitate and support strategic, transformative and innovative programmes at national, regional and continental levels. This was the focus of the four thematic working sessions held during the C2C.
- In the priority areas related to the Global Gateway Africa-Europe Investment Package, and in support of Agenda 2063, many programmes are under development, some of which were highlighted, in particular:
- The two Commissions agreed to launch a EUR 750 million programme in support of infrastructure investments in the areas of transport (including strategic corridors), digitalisation and energy connectivity in Africa.
- As part of the response to the commitment made at the Summit to increase African autonomy in the production of medicines and vaccines, the two Commissions welcomed progress in the operationalisation of the African Medicine Agency, which will be further supported by the EU with an initial financial contribution of EUR 5 million signed in the margins of the Commission-to-Commission meeting today. Additionally, the two Commissions welcomed the announcement of a EUR 15.5 million Team Europe Support Structure (TESS) by the European Commission, Belgium, Germany and France, which will help advance the Partnership for African Vaccine Manufacturing (PAVM) hosted by the African Centre of Disease Prevention and Control.
- As part of the response to the global food security crisis, the two Commissions recalled the importance of the AU 2022 Year of nutrition and welcomed the EU’s mobilisation of an additional EUR 570 million for Africa. This brings the EU’s support for the food security priority in Africa by 2024 to almost EUR 4.5 billion in grant funding. The Commissions agreed to establish a joint task force to identify short and long-term challenges related to access and affordability of fertilizers and propose solutions.
- Both Commissions agreed to establish a high-level dialogue on economic integration with a view to strengthen trade relations and sustainable investment between the two Continents in furtherance of the development of regional value chains and industrialisation of Africa. The Commissions agreed to launch the first meeting of this high-level dialogue in 2023. The two Commissions also welcomed the work done by the AfCFTA Secretariat, as well as the outcome of a diagnostic study on regional value chains, co-financed by the EU and the African Union Commission and presented to the recent African Union Summit on Industrialisation, Economic Diversification and the AfCFTA. It identifies almost 100 value chains with real potential and highlights the most promising ones such as infant food, automotives, pharmaceuticals and apparel of cotton. Both Commissions agreed to take this work further. The two Commissions also discussed around raw materials and agreed that there is scope for further development and collaboration in order to increase local added value for these strategic value chains.
- In the area of climate change, both Commissions welcomed the launch of the Team Europe Initiative on Climate Adaptation and Resilience in Africa at COP 27 earlier this month, which will mobilise over EUR 1 billion to improve the identification of risks, strengthen policy and governance and leverage resources to that end.
- In the area of energy, the two Commissions welcomed progress in the development of the electricity Continental Master Plan as the ‘blueprint’ of the African Single Electricity Market (AfSEM) and to act as the central pillar to solve Africa’s energy challenge, to which the EU has been a long-standing supporter investing in transmission lines and interconnectors, in renewable energy solutions and in assisting in regulatory frameworks development.
- Both Commissions welcomed the outcomes of the consultation on the AU-EU Innovation Agenda and the engagement with more than 500 stakeholders, training and information sessions and an Innovation Fair last week in Nairobi. This will feed into the final version of the AU-EU Innovation Agenda that will be presented for adoption during the second AU-EU R&I Ministerial Meeting scheduled for June 2023.
- In the field of Peace, Security and Governance, the two Commissions recalled the unique and continued partnership between the EU and the AU, highlighting in particular the European Peace Facility EUR 600 million commitment to AU and Africa-led peace support operations for 2022-2024, the support for mediation, the Early Response Mechanism/European Peace Facility support to the Southern African Development Community Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) and the start of the new EU support action to the AU Human Rights Compliance Framework. In the area of Governance EU has launched new Actions supporting the AU Transitional Justice as well as its Election Observation and Assistance work. Building on long-standing cooperation premised on African solutions to African problems, a Senior Officials Meeting under the Memorandum on Peace, Security and Governance was held in the morning.
- The two Commissions expressed their deep concern about the recurrence of anti-constitutional changes of government in an increasing number of African countries, and stressed the need to strengthen their cooperation to face this new challenge and to speed the restoration of democratic and constitutional order.
- Both Commissions agreed to give further impetus to joint cooperation within the framework of the AU-EU-UN tripartite taskforce on stranded migrants and refugees in Libya.
- The two Commissions underlined their shared commitment to promote multilateralism and the rules-based international order, with the United Nations at its core. They welcomed the successful second EU-AU dialogue, which took place in Geneva last week.
- The two Commissions recalled their commitment to foster technical and administrative cooperation. They announced that they would sign an Administrative Arrangement to renew cooperation between the two bodies, intensifying staff exchanges and cooperation in a number of priority areas.
- The two Commissions stressed their engagement to contribute to the implementation of the commitments undertaken during AU-EU Summits, the follow-up of which will be done on a regular basis via existing AU-EU structures, including the AU-EU Ministerial Follow-up Committee.
- They reiterated their call for all relevant stakeholders, including the youth, civil society, local authorities, diasporas and the private sector, to continue to engage towards the renewed EU-AU Partnership.
Source : Europa