A partnership centred on people, not on institutions

EU A series of high-level side-events will take place in the margins of the Summit. African and European representatives of civil society, youth, the private sector, trade unions, researchers and scientists will discuss ways to strengthen the Partnership and to consolidate their active participation. They will provide an additional impetus to the Joint Strategy as a “people-centred partnership” and feed directly into the Summit discussions.

EU aid to Africa

In 2009, the EU (27 Member States and the European Commission) was once again the largest provider of development aid in the world with more than half of global Official Development Assistance – € 48.2 billion (0.42% of GNI).

In the same year, the European Commission dedicated around 42% of its disbursed aid to Africa (EUR 4.1 billion).

Payments (2009)

North Africa            610 million €
Sub-Saharan        3 501 million €
Total                    4 111 million €

This aid is made available through various instruments and channels (projects and sector wide approach, budget support, NGOs and multilateral institutions such as the World Bank and United Nations).

The European Commission works with financial instruments with either geographic or thematic coverage.

The European Development Fund (€22.7 billion for 2008-2013), is the main instrument for cooperation with Sub-Saharan African countries. It also covers Caribbean and Pacific countries. The European Development Fund supports the cooperation at national, regional and intra-ACP levels. The national and regional programming for Africa for 2008-2013 amounts to €13.9 billion.

Africa is also covered by the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (for the Mediterranean countries), the geographic part of the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) which applies to South African and by worlwide thematic instruments such as the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) or the thematic programmes of the DCI (Investing in people, Migration and Asylum…).

In support of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy and its eight thematic partnerships, the European Commission alone has committed €24.4 billion through its various financial instruments for the period 2007-2013.

EU Trade with Africa

The EU is by far the biggest trading partner for the African continent. In 2009, 36% of total imports to Africa originated in Europe. This compares to 12.7% for China, 6.2% for the USA and 3.2% for India.

In the same year, 37% of exports from Africa went to the EU. The USA were the second most important destination with 16.5%, followed by China (10.6%) and India (4.7%).

The eight thematic partnerships of the Joint Africa-EU Partnership

1. Peace and Security

The objective of this partnership is for Africa and Europe to work together to address global security challenges and improve the worldwide multilateral capacity to respond to crises. At the same time it focuses on the capacity of Africa to take its share in the management of crises and security threats. The partnership pursues two main objectives: a) building the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) and agenda; b) strengthening the dialogue between the EU and the AU on peace and security issues, such as counter-terrorism disarmament, post conflict reconstruction and weapons of mass destruction.

The EU has made more than €1 billion available for this Partnership. The largest share of this has gone into the African Peace Facility, which is the major funds provider for Africa-led peace support operations (see below).

Who will benefit from the partnership and how?

What has been achieved so far?

2. Democratic governance and human rights

This partnership promotes democracy, rule of law and human rights in Africa, Europe and globally, by establishing an open and comprehensive dialogue on governance and human rights. Through their dialogue, Africa and Europe try to better define the issues at stake, agree on issues of common concern, improve their influence at the global level and jointly undertake specific initiatives and actions. Cultural cooperation is also part of this partnership, focusing on the protection of cultural goods, including the fight against the trafficking of cultural goods.

Who will benefit from the partnership and how?

What has been achieved so far?

3. Trade, regional integration and infrastructure

This partnership focuses on regional integration as a factor for peace, stability and economic growth. Trade and trans-national infrastructure are inseparably linked to this strategy, helping to build larger and more efficient competitive markets and creating a pro-business environment that attracts domestic and foreign investment. The partnership focuses on regional economic integration, reaching from policy making to implementation, from institutions to best practices and procedures. It spans across a number of priorities, such as trade agreements, trade in goods and services, harmonisation and cooperation regarding sanitary and phyto-sanitary rules. Following agreement in Addis Ababa in June 2010 between the Africa Union Commission and the EU Commission, a specific subject of cooperation relates to raw materials and will cover three areas: i) governance ii) infrastructure /investment and iii) geological knowledge /skills.

Who will benefit from the partnership and how?

What has been achieved so far?

4. Millennium development goals

The Millennium Development Goals which relate to the fight against poverty remain at the heart of EU-Africa cooperation. This partnership constitutes a platform for intensified continent-to-continent policy dialogue, cooperation and joint action at all levels with a view to achieving the MDGs in all African countries. It has so far concentrated on the education, health and agricultural sectors. It also aims at creating the necessary policy and financial architecture to foster MDG progress. The main actors involved are African and European Governments and Parliaments, the African Union Commission and the European Commission, local authorities, civil society organisations, private actors and researchers.

Who will benefit from the partnership and how?

Examples of achievements

5. Energy

Energy is at the heart of development and an essential prerequisite for economic growth and reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). More generally, meeting growing energy needs will be one of the main challenges of the 21st century. Access to reliable and sustainable energy supplies will be essential both for Africa and Europe. The overall objectives of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership stress dialogue on energy access and energy security and improved access to reliable, secure, affordable, climate friendly and sustainable energy services for both continents. The partnership further focuses on increased energy infrastructure investments, including the promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Who will benefit from the partnership and how?

What has been achieved so far?

7. Migration, mobility and employment

Migration is a major political issue, both in the EU and in Africa. Where the public and political debate often focuses exclusively on the downsides of migration, there is a need for policy makers in both continents to identify challenges as well as opportunities, notably in connection to employment strategies and realities in Africa and in the EU. The partnership operates on two levels. The first is dialogue.

Topics for discussions include:

  • diasporas, remittances, brain drain, migrant rights, social consequences of migration
  • regular migration, including circular migration, mobility and visa issues
  • irregular migration, trafficking in human beings, smuggling of migrants, readmission, return
  • refugees, asylum and protection
  • job creation, inclusive growth, decent work, social protection, informal and social economy
  • mobility of students and scholars, higher education harmonisation process (such as the Nyerere programme, and Erasmus Mundus)

The second level of the partnership deals with concrete initiatives and actions. Here stakeholders can jointly identify priority actions.

Who will benefit from the partnership and how?

What has been achieved so far?

8. Science, information society and space

In today’s world, scientific research and technology have become key factors to economic and social growth. Unfortunately, the scientific and digital divides on the African continent are hindering Africa’s full participation in today’s globalised knowledge society. Activities in this partnership focus on this issue, including a high level political dialogue and consultation on common positions in international conferences. Space applications can assist in effectively addressing many of the most pressing challenges facing the African continent such as water and food security, monitoring impacts of climate change, healthcare and education.

Who will benefit from the partnership and how?

What has been achieved so far?

More information

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