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AERC joins a high level policy working group at the AU– EU Summit

African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) joined the preparatory summit of the 5th Africa – EU ahead of the next Africa-EU summit in November. The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung together with the European Commission and the German Development Institute (DIE) organized a seminar on the state of Africa-EU relations. The seminar took place in Italy recently and Prof. Lemma W. Senbet, AERC Executive Director was invited to take part in the discussions.

 In November 2017 European and African leaders will meet in Abidjan, Ivory Coast for the 5th Africa – EU summit. This meeting between representatives of the two continents will take place in an international context dominated by man-made crises, prolonged conflicts, extremist threats, as well as natural disasters accelerated by the effects of climate change.


“This meeting takes place at a time when the transformation of African economies features high on the agendas as does the widespread questioning of multilateralism and free trade. Societies on both continents experience rapid changes in the distribution of wealth and prosperity. Governments and societies on both continents seek to find sustainable responses to these partly dramatic social transformations,” said Prof. Senbet.

 The seminar intends to bring together a small group of high-level policy makers from national, regional and continental level as well as parliamentarians, academia, civil society and the private sector. The aim is to explore new ways of interacting between Europe and Africa in an attempt to join forces to face some of the challenges bedeviling Africa.

 The topics that will be addressed include: New approaches to the key issues identified in the EU Communication for a renewed impetus of the EU-Africa partnership; getting feedback from African partners; operationalization of the AU Agenda 2063 and possibilities for the creation of synergies between the strategic approaches of the AU and EU; defining the best ways of cooperation and engagement between the two continents linked by proximity, history, culture and economy in addressing mutual and global challenges; bridging existing divides as well as bringing the two continents closer together.

Other areas of discussion will be reflections on joint values, how to address challenges to these values and operationalize them in a future partnership; brainstorming on how best and fastest ways things can move from intentions to actions with a focus on inclusive and sustainable economic development, particularly focusing on job-creation for youth; and reflecting on specific challenges in EU-Africa relations, for instance related to trade, migration, the International Criminal Court (ICC) and how best to defuse them. These discussion will be held under Chatham House rules.


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