Heads of State and Government of the Member States of the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU) agreed on a Joint Vision for a renewed Partnership at the 6th European Union - African Union Summit on 17–18 February 2022 in Brussels, Belgium. “Europe wants to remain Africa's first partner”, said the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. Together, the European Union and the African Union account for 42 per cent of the UN countries (27 + 55 out of 193).
They agreed to address together global challenges such as strengthening the multilateral trading system, fighting climate change and developing a new international treaty on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response. Moreover, they committed to join efforts to combat instability, radicalisation and terrorism.
At the summit, the EU reaffirmed its commitment to provide at least 450 million vaccine doses to Africa by mid-2022. Contributing to this, Team Europe (EU member states and financial institutions) has provided more than USD 3 billion (i.e. the equivalent of 400 million vaccine doses) to the COVAX Facility and to vaccination on the African continent.
Further, Team Europe pledged to mobilise EUR 425 million to ramp up the pace of vaccination, and in coordination with the Africa CDC, to support the efficient distribution of doses, the training of medical teams and the capacity of analysis and sequencing.
A Global Gateway Africa-Europe Investment Package of at least EUR 150 billion aims to support the common ambition for 2030 and AU Agenda 2063, composed of an Investment, a Health and an Education Package.
The Investment Package will help build more diversified, inclusive, sustainable and resilient economies, complemented with specific packages in support of health and education systems. For the health sector, initiatives for pandemic preparedness, health security and equitable access to quality essential health services will be supported. The education package aims to invest in inclusive and equitable quality education.
The European Union and the African Union agreed to deepen their cooperation in finding durable solutions for those asylum seekers, refugees and vulnerable migrants in need of international protection and commit to revitalising the work of the joint AU-EU-UN Tripartite Task Force. They committed to cooperate more effectively to combat people smuggling and trafficking, addressing the root causes of irregular migration and identifying pathways for legal migration opportunities.
Ines Lechner, editor, Rural 21, DLG-Verlag GmbH, Frankfurt/Main, Germany
*Photo: From left to right: Muhammadu BUHARI (President of Nigeria), Ursula VON DER LEYEN (President of the European Commission), Abdel Fattah EL-SISI (President of Egypt), Cyril RAMAPHOSA (President of South Africa), Charles MICHEL (President of the European Council), Emmanuel MACRON (President of France), Macky SALL (President of Senega), Kaïs SAÏED (President of Tunisia)
Read more at the website of the European Union - African Union Summit