Inputting into the 2022 AU-EU Summit roundtable conversations, this strategic briefing addresses the critical issues facing the Africa-Europe partnership to break new ground toward a shared future. Inspired by the AEF Charter, it looks at the building blocks needed for a modern partnership in the face of existential global challenges and outlines some of the areas that hold the largest promise for win-win solutions as well as innovative and fresh collaborations.
Health and Digital Transformation
Climate Change and Energy Transition
Agriculture and Sustainable Development
Youth Economic Inclusion and Mobility
Strategic Monitoring and Governance
An overarching message, from the AEF multistakeholder dialogues to the #ReimagineAfricaEurope consultation, is there is growing appetite for a deeper partnership between the peoples of Africa and Europe; a partnership that includes civil society, cities and local authorities, the private sector and, as a priority, young people. Citizens across both continents expect from a renewed partnership gains for their societies including enhanced and training opportunities, improved environmental sustainability and youth economic inclusion.
The largest Africa/Europe opportunity sits in creating value chains across the two continents that are tied into large macro trends and investment drivers. These include: Africa’s need for space and opportunity for industrialisation, especially in labour-intensive sectors, and for leapfrogging their services-based sectors into a digital economy; the investments of European countries into a green economy and decoupling from fossil fuels, Europe’s need to cater for an older population and reduced workforce; and a shared requirement for pandemic preparedness and to face the climate crisis.
To move forward, it is evident from the AEF dialogues that there are significant gaps to bridge in understanding the different contexts and starting points when it comes to critical domains of cooperation including energy transition/access and mobility/migration. Importance is equally placed on working across silos and enlarging the partnership to new and diverse stakeholders.