4 May 2017. Brussels.  The European Commission and the High Representative/ Vice-President have set out the EU’s political priorities and concrete proposals for a stronger strategic partnership with Africa. The Joint Communication will now be presented to the Council and the European Parliament.

The European Commission and the High Representative / Vice-President presented a revitalised framework for joint action, to build a stronger strategic partnership between Europe and Africa for more prosperity and stability in the two continents. The Communication presents innovative proposals in a number of key areas – such as peace and security, migration, job creation or energy – based on priorities defined by African countries and stepping up the existing fruitful cooperation between the two continents.

This comes ahead of the Africa-EU Summit 28-29 November 2017 in Abidjan, which will put a specific focus on youth.

“2017 is the year for a new impetus of the partnership between Europe and Africa: every obstacle we may face is a common challenge, and Africa’s hope is our hope. A strong Africa matters to Europe; our friendship matters to our people. Only by joining forces and working in partnership can we provide our youth with a more hopeful and peaceful future. Today, we don’t simply look at what we can do for Africa but what we can do with Africa, together”. Federica Mogherini, High Representative/Vice President

“We propose several ideas and concrete measures on how to translate our priorities for the years to come into action, notably to foster growth and to create more jobs, especially for youth. We have a solid offer on the table and we now want to discuss it further with EU Member States and with African partners so that this offer materializes into something concrete and visible. More than ever citizens on both sides of the Mediterranean need to see that the Africa-Europe strategic partnership is a reality which goes beyond words.” Neven Mimica, Commissioner in charge of International Cooperation and Development

Three objectives are set for building an EU-Africa alliance to address common global and regional challenges:

  1. •a stronger mutual engagement and increased cooperation bilaterally and in the international arena, based on common values and shared interests,
  2. security, on land and on sea, and the fight against transnational threats
  3. sustainable and inclusive economic development in Africa, in order to create the jobs that the continent needs.

Concrete actions are proposed around two mains strands.

  • The first one aims to achieve more resilient states and societies, through closer cooperation and action in order to prevent conflicts, improve conflict management; strengthen governance systems, and manage migration and mobility. 
  • The second strand will aim to create more and better jobs, especially for youth. It develops concrete proposals for attracting responsible and sustainable investment, for example with the recently proposed External Investment Plan, which is expected to leverage up to €44 billion of private investment. 
Further proposals concern the cooperation in renewable energy, agriculture, agribusiness and the blue economy as well as advancement of knowledge and skills. For example, the Commission proposes to launch an African Youth Facility, which will expand the scope of Erasmus+, or to support digital innovation in Africa.
The Commission also presented its Digital4Development approach, outlining ideas on how to promote information and communication technologies in developing countries and mainstream digitalisation into EU development policy.
  1. Spur value chain development by facilitating responsible investments for sustainable agri-business and blue economy, using the range of instruments including AgriFI and the proposed European External Investment Plan.
  2. Generate EU and African investments to support Research and Innovation in agriculture, via the EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture and increase the uptake of new technologies by local communities for increased agricultural income and nutrition.
    Given current levels of global hunger, increasing nutritional imbalances and the need for food production systems to sustainably respond to the rising demands of a global population, Europe and Africa increasingly need to coordinate research and innovation activities. The EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture is a longterm, jointly funded and managed partnership. It is contributing to these challenges in an innovative manner, by developing solutions for agriculture and food systems that deliver on nutrition, are low in waste, have a reduced environmental impact and address food safety issues.
  3. Expanding as appropriate the network of Sustainable Fisheries Partnership 
    Agreements between the EU and African partners
Related:
22 May 2017. Cairo, Egypt. Food Security Communication and Knowledge Management Workshop.
CAAST-Net Plus organised a consultation workshop on the Knowledge Management and Communication System (KMCS) Initiative for the Europe-Africa research and innovation partnership on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture (FNSSA).

  • The workshop titled ‘The Role of Research and Innovation Funders and Portal Managers in an Africa-EU Knowledge Management and Communication System Initiative on FNSSA’. 
  • The workshop is part of a series of consultations with key stakeholders central in the establishment of the Africa-Europe KMCS Initiative. According to the concept note, “one of the recommendations made during the April 2016 CAAST‐Net Plus Stakeholder Forum was the establishment of an appropriate knowledge management system between stakeholders involved in the FNSSA innovation value chain and the development of appropriate communication strategies.” 
  • Based on this proposition, CAAST-Net Plus has since engaged with various stakeholders such as researchers, funders, private sector, representatives from farmer associations, portal managers and developers, and policymakers, to gather inputs towards the envisaged KMCS portal. 
  • The most recent consultation workshop was held in November 2016, in South Africa, and focused on the role of African and European Union (EU) based science academies in Africa-EU bi-regional policy dialogues with a specific focus on FNSSA-related policy advice.
Download concept note
See draft agenda

Related:

22 May 2017, in Windhoek, Namibia. CAAST-Net Plus is organising a workshop to unpack the role of technology transfer officers in the establishment of the Knowledge Management and Communication System (KMCS) initiative.

Download concept note
See draft agenda

This post was originally published at PAEPARD and has been republished with permission.

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