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How to build a sustainable strategic partnership

EU-Africa Relations in the spotlight

Close relations between the European Union and the states of Africa are of utmost importance for both sides and were hardly coincidentally one of the priorities of the German Council Presidency 2020. Even though an intended EU-AU-Summit needed to be postponed due to the COVID-19-pandemic, Angela Merkel and many of her EU counterparts stated that cooperation is crucial in a number of fields, reaching from migration to climate change to sustainable economic growth and prosperity. In order to achieve a partnership on eye-to-eye-level and tackle the challenges that remain equally important on both sides of the Mediterranean, the perspective of the African states or the African Union as a whole must be included in dialogues. This could become all the more important against the background of the European Commission’s new EU-Africa Strategy.

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Banner EU-Africa Event
Banner EU-Africa Event

Close relations between the European Union and the states of Africa are of utmost importance for both sides and were hardly coincidentally one of the priorities of the German Council Presidency 2020. Even though an intended EU-AU-Summit needed to be postponed due to the COVID-19-pandemic, Angela Merkel and many of her EU counterparts stated that cooperation is crucial in a number of fields, reaching from migration to climate change to sustainable economic growth and prosperity. Moreover, the UN Food Systems Summit to be held later this year will provide the regions with a unique opportunity to enhance EU-Africa relations and promote a common agenda for sustainable and resilient food systems. In addition, on the 1st of January, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) came into effect and will create strategic opportunities for African and European actors to meet on equal terms. Many of these aspects are already or will shortly become subject to discussion on the EU level, may it be through summits or the programs of upcoming Council Presidencies.


In order to achieve a partnership on eye-to-eye-level and tackle the challenges that remain equally important on both sides of the Mediterranean, the perspective of the African states or the African Union as a whole must be included in dialogues. Only if both side’s preferences are met, a sustainable strategic partnership with shared purposes can be built in the long run. A number of critics say that European states didn’t even come close to such an approach in the past and should make additional efforts to reach solutions which are in the best interest of all partners involved. This could become all the more important against the background of the European Commission’s new EU-Africa Strategy, which was presented in 2020.


During this online event, we would like to discuss how an equal partnership driven by shared interests between the EU and Africa can be fostered and how the AfCFTA can catalyze to a relationship based on true reciprocity. In what way can the EU seize the opportunity of AfCFTA as one of the cornerstones of its future trade strategy with Africa? And how does this build on the recommendations of the EU-AU Task Force on Rural Africa? Which role should the EU play towards the African Union? Which roles can Germany and the Netherlands on the one hand, and Ghana on the other hand play bilaterally in order to facilitate these processes? These and further questions will be raised during the webinar.


The European Office of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and Socires kindly invite you to our online event “How to build a stronger strategic partnership – EU-Africa Relations in the spotlight”, which will take place on Thursday, 11 March 2021 (11:00 CET / 10:00 GMT) via Zoom. We look forward to discussing this highly relevant topic with Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana, as well as further high-level speakers. The discussion will take place in English. Please register via the link on the right side of the page.

 
We look forward to your participation!

program

11:00                    Welcoming Remarks

 

                               Prof. Dr. Norbert Lammert

                               President Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V.

 

11:05                    Keynote Speech

 

                               Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

                               President of the Republic of Ghana

 

11:25                    Panel Reaction

                              

                               Michael Gahler

                               Member of the European Parliament (MEP)

                               Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs 

                               European People’s Party (EPP)

 

                               Kitty van der Heijden

                               Director-General for International Cooperation 

                               Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NL)

 

                               Prof. Dr. Christine Wieck

                               Professor for Agricultural and Food Policy

                               University of Hohenheim

                               Member of Task Force “Rural Africa”

                               (European  Commission)

 

                               Moderation

                               Shada Islam

                               Advisor and Analyst

                               New Horizons Project (NHP)

 

11:45                    President responds to the panel

11:55                    President and Panel take questions from the

                               audience

12:10                    Panelists formulate key takeaways for the event

 

12:15                    End of event

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difuzoare

  • Prof. Dr. Norbert Lammert
    • President of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V.
  • Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
    • President of the Republic of Ghana
  • Michael Gahler
    • Member of the European Parliament (MEP)
    • Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET)
    • European People’s Party (EPP)
  • Kitty van der Heijden
    • Director-General for International Cooperation (DGIS)
    • Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NL)
  • Prof. Dr. Christine Wieck
    • Professor for Agricultural and Food Policy
    • University of Hohenheim
    • Member of Task Force “Rural Africa” (European Commission)

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