President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy (left) and President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso at the opening ceremony of the 4th EU - Africa Summit.

EU sets out Pan-African development strategy

Global challenges demand more than national and regional solutions. The EU has now launched a development and cooperation programme that covers Africa as a whole.

“The challenges with which we are faced can no longer be tackled within national borders. This is as true in Europe as it is in Africa or elsewhere. This is why I have proposed to create a Pan-African programme to find solutions at regional and continental scale and support the process of African integration, where the African Union plays a critical role. The alliance between Africa and Europe is indispensable, today more than ever. This programme will make it even stronger,” announced EU President José Manuel Barroso at the beginning of August.

The European Union’s new initiative comes with a financial envelope of 845 million euros for the period 2014 to 2020. Funding will go to a broad spectrum of projects in the field of development and cooperation. This development strategy follows a decision taken by the 4th EU-Africa Summit in April 2014.

The programme is also intended as a bridge between the two continents that will improve coordination of action on the major global challenges, especially migration, climate change, mobility and security. The first phase includes projects ranging from sustainable agriculture, environmental awareness and higher education to governance, infrastructure, information and communication technology and research and development. 

One concrete example is a project to support election observation missions operated by the African Union. Another is funding for academic exchange programmes and for harmonisation of the academic curricula across African universities.

Roland Krieg
, Journalist, Berlin/Germany