The European Union wants to foster its partnership with Africa and focus on peace, security, and job creation for the youth. The European Commission has set out the bloc’s political priorities and concrete proposals for a stronger strategic partnership with Africa. Brussels has outlined key areas – peace, security, migration, job creation and energy – based on priorities defined by African countries, thus stepping up the existing cooperation. This move comes as an impetus in preparations for the Africa-EU Summit to be held in November this year.
Federica Mogherini, head of European diplomacy, said that “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,” and stressed that “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”.
The three major objectives for EU-Africa engagement are based on common global and regional challenges, namely a stronger engagement and increased cooperation, security on land and on sea, and sustainable and inclusive economic development in Africa. As to concrete steps, the EU first wants to achieve more resilient states and societies through closer cooperation and action with the aim to prevent conflicts, improve conflict management, boost governance systems, and manage migration and mobility. The second objective will focus on youth employment and general job creation. This will go hand in hand with the recently proposed External Investment Plan, which is expected to leverage up to 44 billion of private investment.