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EU-Africa partnership can only get better

This week in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, the African Union and the European Union are holding their 5th Summit.

It is a landmark occasion, coming ten years after the joint Africa-EU strategy which has seen us cooperate on issues of importance on both sides of the Mediterranean and for the wider world. Working together simply makes sense for both sides. What happens in Africa affects Europe, and what happens in Europe affects Africa.

Together, we represent 83 countries that are home to 1.7 billion people. We are bound by geography, history and humanity. We share the same values, principles and a belief in a rules-based global order.

Over the last decade, we have stepped up our cooperation on security, the fight against terrorism, migration partnerships, economic growth, trade, climate change and many other fields.

From Somalia to Mali via the Central African Republic, European troops are working side by side with their African counterparts to keep peace, uphold the rule of law and fight piracy and human trafficking. Our cooperation makes us stronger, safer and more prosperous.

This is more important than ever at a time when our two unions are undergoing major transformations. For instance, while Europe is on course to be the ‘oldest’ region in the world by 2030, Africa is by far the ‘youngest’ with a median age already under 20. Africa’s population will also likely double to 2.4 billion people in 2050 and quadruple to more than four billion by 2100.

This makes Africa the continent of the future, which is why we chose youths as a theme for this year’s summit. In Abidjan, the EU and Africa have a unique opportunity to start shaping a shared future together.

This new young generation will need sustainable and quality jobs – 18 million of them a year. They will need a secure environment, affordable energy, access to health and education services. Africa has a burgeoning entrepreneurial sector which will help it grow but Europe and its wealth of expertise can also support this transition.

We have plenty of work to build on. The commission will provide €31 billion in development support by 2020 to help give youth a chance to prosper at home.

The EU-Africa Trust Fund is supporting young people and women in the Sahel, Lake Chad, Horn of Africa and North Africa focusing on vocational training and the creation of micro and small enterprises. And the European Investment Bank is providing €2 billion worth of financing every year.

This is making a real difference on the ground, helping, for instance, to roll out mobile phone coverage in remote rural areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Cameroon and provide access to clean energy for over 18 million Africans.

But we can do so much more together. We must still do more to tackle the root causes of irregular migration that is still costing too many lives and lining the pockets of too many traffickers. And we must do more to improve the business environment and provide a platform for African innovators to grow.

This requires the full involvement of the private sector. The EU accounts for a third of foreign direct investment into Africa – this is now helping create jobs and growth in both of our unions.

The new European External Investment Plan will take this one step further. Using public money as a guarantee, it is expected to leverage €44 billion in investment in Africa by 2020, helping to build critical infrastructure and supporting small businesses to get the credit they need to expand and employ more people.

This is an investment in our shared future. Ten years on from the joint Africa-EU Strategy, our cooperation goes from strength to strength.

It is a partnership of equals in which we support each other, help each other to prosper and make the world a safer, more stable and more sustainable place to live. We look forward to building on this together for the years to come, starting in Abidjan.
 
Jean-Claude Juncker is the President of the European Commission, and Moussa Faki is the chairperson of the African Union Commission.

Comments   

0 #1 Akot 2017-12-01 19:00
EU-African partnership has been a dead end for with no solution & Africans are lookig for better life in Europe, at all cost!

EU ensures good rule in each member state, yet it opens doors-put in place salvage at sea...so that young Africans get over to Europe to help their aging population!

The moment Germany good the N° of refugees-migrants needed to renew it's aging population, doors were closed & countries serving as entry points built barbed wires along borders!

Did EU blame them for this inhumanity-hypocricy?

Why blame Libya human trafficers who are smuggling Africans to Europe because Europe has open doors for/needs refugees-migrants?

Africans are looking for better life in well governed Europe: they have the money to pay their way out of hell Africa & Libyan trafficers need money because their country has no governance-badly ruled, just like the rest of Africa!...
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0 #2 Akot 2017-12-01 19:15
...EU member countries' politics are in disaray, yet Brussels has not understood that the main cause is migration that is changing composition/culture of Europe!

Europeans are tired of being blamed for African miseries caused by dictators-bad rulers, while they are asked to take in poor Africans looking for Education-Housing-Healthcare...!

In what way will this partnership get better/bring socioecunomic change when Africa is still so so badly ruled, while it's poor population triples yearly?

Why is EU not aware Europeans are so so tired & in disaray with unending/increasing migration & want it to stop so that their own needy also get attention with long time solutions for them from their governments?

EU monarchs are so power hungry & don't see the fear-lost of hope-confusion in politics caused by migration issue that is tearing Europe apart!
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0 #3 Akot 2017-12-01 19:25
[This is an investment in our shared future. Ten years on from the joint Africa-EU Strategy, our cooperation goes from strength to strength.]

Yet, when you live in Europe, this is not so: they are really tired of migration & EU incompetency in ending it!

This lead to UK pooling out of EU, yet, instead of accepting reality & correcting it, Brussles wants to loot UK dry of every cent to teach them a lesson & make sure no other member state dares pull out in future!

What democracy is this & is it no the same as museveni forcing Ugandns to go along with him or there will be no next move for Ugandans?

So Africa EU partnership gets stronger: is this why Africans are looking for better life in Europe at cost of their lives?
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0 #4 Akot 2017-12-01 19:42
[We must still do more to tackle the root causes of irregular migration that is still costing too many lives and lining the pockets of too many traffickers. And we must do more to improve the business environment and provide a platform for African innovators to grow.]

The root cause of Africa problem is 'dictatorship-bad rule' that have given no chance for National Education!

The solution lies in 'good governance' to give National Education-Subsidize Agriculture, then Africa will be able to have the right people to create/innovate & jobs will bring tax money for social services!

As long as dictatorship-bad rule go on, there is no way there will be a beginning of nation building & dictators will go on living paradise, while those who can will pay their way out of Africa to have chance in Europe!
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0 #5 Akot 2017-12-01 20:05
[European External Investment Plan will take this one step further. Using public money as a guarantee, it is expected to leverage €44 billion in investment in Africa by 2020, helping to build critical infrastructure and supporting small businesses to get the credit...]

Yet,

Without National Education for All as in Europe, this will be complete waste: Uganda population is filled by uneducated women who know their only chance to be human is to have children!

Educated/working Uganda women have - 4 kids & make sure they get food-well clothed-education, while the 90% uneducated women have + 5 kids they cannot feed/clothe/educate, yet are proud to have them!

European women without income get social help & education is free & compulsory up to 16 years of age, then those who can go further do so while those who fail get help through social insertion!
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