Delivering results and implementing concrete actions in Africa-EU relations

Africa and Europe in Partnership A Conference on the implementation of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) was organised by the Permanent Mission of the African Union in Brussels on 22nd September 2011, in Brussels. The discussions mainly focused on: the financing of the Joint Africa-EU Action plan; the role of the European External Action Service (EEAS) and of the European Commission (DEVCO) in Africa relations; and on alternative sources of financing the African Union.

The Joint Africa-EU Strategy brings benefits to people on both sides of the Mediterranean Sea on areas of mutual interest. The presence of prominent African Ambassadors and High level European Union and African Union Representatives shows that Africa-EU relations is a top priority for both continents.

Ambassador of Senegal to the EU and President of the African Group of Ambassadors in Brussels, H.E. Paul Badji, highlighted the crucial importance “to reinforce the role of African Ambassadors in the implementation of the JAES”, an inclusive partnership requiring active involvement and resources of all partners from the two continents”. Dr. Rene N’Guettia Kouassi, Director of Economic Affairs, African Union, while noting that some progress had been achieved in the political dimension of the partnership, stressed that “the two sides should intensify efforts to establish a pan-African financing instrument which is key to the attainment of progress in the implementation of successive JAES Action Plans”.

Ms Mosca, Director of horizontal ACP and sub-Saharan issues, Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid, presented her new directorate, responsible for designing EU development policies and delivering aid through programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa. “Having one DG simplifies communication in the development field by acting as a “one stop shop”, she said. Especially in a context of economic crisis, it is important that together we can show that we deliver results that will benefit the citizens in your countries”. She added.

This was also an opportunity for the newly created European External Action Service, represented by José Costa Pereira, Head of Pan African division, to highlight that the creation of the EEAS is “a unique opportunity to strengthen coherence and coordination between EU policies. This will have a positive impact in our relation with Africa.”

During the Conference the participants had the opportunity to discuss in an open and frank manner the common challenges for the Africa-EU strategy and explore alternative sustainable sources of financing the African Union.

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