Category Archives: EU-Africa

EU committed to Africa agri-food sector

Africa-Europe Alliance: European Commission committed to a sustainable African agri-food sector. The Task Force for Rural Africa delivered its final report, an agri-food and rural agenda for the new ‘Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs’ unveiled by President Jean-Claude Juncker in the 2018 State of the Union speech.

 

 

 

According to the recommendations of this group of African and European experts, Africa and the EU should develop a partnership operating at three levels: people to people, business to business, and government to government. It would institute a multi-stakeholder dialogue at all levels, starting locally, and enable a closer connection between African and European societies, business communities and governments.

Agriculture and rural development policy is leading the way in EU-Africa political cooperation. The Task Force Rural Africa is at the centre of this work: its recommendations explore ways to boost public and private investment, to exchange best practice and share knowledge, and to deepen policy cooperation across the board;” agriculture and rural development Commissioner Phil Hogan said.

 

 

 

 

This is a very important day for the Africa-Europe Alliance. Today we have seen the hard work of the Task Force on Rural Africa culminate in concrete recommendations. Now it is up to us to come together, take these valuable recommendations forward and devise solutions that can deliver what we all want: a positive rural transformation, and an inclusive and sustainable agriculture and agri-food sector,” International development and cooperation Commissioner Neven Mimica said.

African Union (AU) Commissioner for rural economy and agriculture Josefa Sacko said: “The Task Force report recognises the new reality of Africa and Europe as global partners on an equal footing. It demonstrates that farmers and the food industry should work hand in hand to take on the new opportunities that the African Continental Free Trade Area will offer and also, build the regional markets needed for Africa’s long term food security.”

Launched in May 2018 by the European Commission, the Task Force was set up to provide advice on strengthening the Africa-Europe partnership in food and farming. The European Commission will ensure follow-up and implementation of several actions recommended by this group of experts to support the development of African agri-food sector and rural economy.

Building on some of the short term recommendations made by the Task Force, the European Commission will start implementing the following projects:

  • Twinning and exchange programmes between African and European agricultural bodies: the Commission has just launched a Pilot Vocational Education and training initiative with Africa of €5 million. Additional funds from the EU budget will be made available for other twinning programmes for rural women’s organisations, farmer organisations and cooperatives, businesses and public entities with their peers.
  • AU-EU Agribusiness platform: recognising the key role the private sector can play for structural transformation in Africa, the Commission proposes to set up a platform to link European and African businesses. This platform is expected to help identify challenges and opportunities for private investment and trade between the two continents.
  • Innovation hubs: to support ‘agripreneurs’ and the African agri-food sector, innovation hubs can be established or strengthened with the aim of applying practical knowledge. These hubs would bring together national research, higher education systems, farmers, their organisations and the private sector to facilitate –amongst others- digital innovation and skills development.

The report handed over today is a landmark in the process towards more cooperation between the EU and Africa in the agri-food sector, identifying four strategic areas of action for the medium to long term: job creation, climate action, sustainable transformation of African agriculture and development of the African food industry and markets.

To make this an open and inclusive process, the Commission will launch an online consultation to gather direct feedback from African stakeholders on the Task Force’s strategic approach and on the state of play of the agri-food trade and cooperation between our two continents. Together with today’s report, the outcome of this consultation will feed into the third AU-EU agricultural ministerial conference in Rome, planned for June 2019.

Effective follow-up will also be ensured through the setting-up of an implementation group composed of ministerial and private representatives from both Africa and the EU. The group will be presented at the ministerial conference in Rome.

EU admits Buhari election ‘consistency’

Nigerians have re-elected President Muhammadu Buhari, as the announcement by the Independent National Electoral Commission confirms. These results are consistent with independent civil society observations”, says the text of the statement attributed to a European External Actions Service (EEAS) spokesperson.

“Moreover, important lessons are to be learned, in particular ahead of the State elections next week. It is now the responsibility of all parties and candidates to strengthen democracy and unite the country.

“The EU Election Observation Mission will stay beyond the State elections and produce a final report with recommendations.”

The EU will continue to strengthen its partnership with Nigeria‘ – the statement concludes.

Election is not war, and should never be seen as a do-or-die affair. I pray that we all accept this democratic approach to elections, however contentious” wrote President-elect of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari in his Twitter micro blog.

EU ministers discuss Congo in first ranks

The Foreign Affairs Council will start with a discussion on current affairs. The High Representative and foreign ministers may refer to the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo. (Image: EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini doorstep before the Foreign Affairs Council).

 

 

Sahel stability as key to EU security

“The EU supports the efforts the G5 Sahel countries in the fight against terrorism, organised crime and any other threat to security and peace” says the text of conclusions adopted by the EU Foreign Affairs Council.

“The EU wants to reinforce its regional approach in the Sahel with the aim of supporting cross-border cooperation, regional cooperation structures, and, in this context, of enhancing national capacities of the G5 Sahel countries. Stability in the Sahel region is also key for European security” EU Foreign Ministers Council, February 18, 2019.

African Union Summit opens in Addis Ababa

The leaders of  African states gather for the annual African Union #AU summit which started its activities from February 7.

The refugees and internally displaced persons are in the focus of the Summit taking place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Nowadays Sub-Saharan Africa hosts more than a quarter of the world’s 25.4 million refugees, the UN agency for refugees UNHCR reports.

However that figure is considered to be a conservative assessment because of ongoing conflicts in the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi.

According to the United Nations, 85% of the displaced people are located in developing countries, with three African countries – Uganda, Sudan and Ethiopia  among the major hosts of refugees in the world.

The activists and campaigners for human rights insist there is an urgency for the African Union to undertake practical measures to address the issue of refugees on the continent.

The #AU will also discuss a standard passport for all African countries. There are expectations that the passports will bring the continent closer to free movement of people alike in the European Union, to promote a viable alternative to current illegal migration.

The AU’s Commission promised to announce the design, production, and issue a model of a passport during the Summit.

However the problem of passports is not limited to its design, or funding. There is no tradition, neither requirement to issue birth certificates in Sub-Saharan Africa, with an exception of some urban agglomerations. The date of birth in the overwhelming number of cases is unknown, which creates a considerable obstacle in identification of  an individual. The case of a notorious Ethiopian “junior” athlete Girmawit Gebrzihair,  causing an international scandal, is a recent example of difficulties the authorities meet, while producing passports for citizens without birth certificate, based only on their affidavit, the method lacking credibility. An alternative for establishing a correct age, can be in use of medical checks with a sophisticated modern equipment, however the are no funds available to engage in such a costly practice.

 

 

EU top diplomat to visit Horn of Africa

Federica Mogherini will begin her visit to the Horn of Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where the African Union Summit is taking place and she will meet several heads of state or government in the margins.

In Ethiopia Mogherini is due to meet President Shale Work Zwede and Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed, among other members of the government, to discuss further strengthening the EU-Ethiopia partnership.

The the EU top diplomat will also visit  funded by the bloc projects supporting the International Organisation for Migration together with Director General Antonio Vitorino.

Continuing her visit in the Horn of Africa,  Mogherini will visit Kenya, where she is due to meet President Kenyatta and members of the government. In Kenya, she will also launch a cross border programme, meet with representatives from the UN Habitat and UNEP, youth and civil society groups as well as inaugurating the new EU Delegation offices in Nairobi.

She will conclude her visit by travelling to Djibouti to meet President Ismail Omar Guelleh and other members of government, as well as visiting Member States’ military bases operating the EU ATALANTA maritime security mission.

The EU in the Horn of Africa:  the EU is working actively to strengthen its partnership with the region which shares many common interests with the European Union, from tackling climate change to boosting investment, to better managing migration and creating opportunities for youth.

The EU is a key partner for the region in many areas, in particular security with the three Common Security and Defence Policy missions: EUNAVFOR Atalanta maritime mission which fights piracy off the Somali coast, EUTM Somalia and EUCAP Somalia. The EU is also a key supporter of Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the regional body in the Horn of Africa.

Image: Benna people, Ethiopia

Egmont Royal Institute internship

Egmont Royal Institute for International relations offers paid internship opportunity:  Education & Training Programme (Fr-Eng):

Le Programme Education & Formation de l’Institut Egmont cherche Ă  recruter un(e) stagiaire Ă  Bruxelles pour une durĂ©e de 6 mois, dĂ©butant le 1er mars 2019.

Le stage consistera en un soutien logistique et organisationnel du Programme Education & Formation, ainsi qu’en une participation Ă  l’élaboration stratĂ©gique de futures formations (par exemple : formations en Pratiques diplomatiques ; Partenariat avec des Ecoles Nationales d’Administration en Afrique subsaharienne ; formations en Gestion civile des crises).

Qualifications requises pour le stage :

  • Niveau master ou Ă©quivalent ;
  • MaĂźtrise professionnelle du français et de l’anglais (tĂąches de rĂ©daction dans les deux langues).La connaissance du nĂ©erlandais est un plus ;
  • Multi-tasking, dynamisme et rĂ©sistance au stress pendant les pĂ©riodes de formation.

Sont un atout :

  • ExpĂ©rience dans ou en rapport avec la diplomatie et/ou les administrations publiques, notamment en ambassades, dans un MinistĂšre, ou dans l’organisation de confĂ©rences avec des diplomates et/ou du personnel d’administrations publiques ;
  • ExpĂ©rience dans l’organisation d’évĂšnements et/ou dans la gestion de projets (budget, Ă©laboration des plannings et chronogrammes).

Le Programme Education & Training offre un stage:

  • dans un environnement et une Ă©quipe dynamique et en pleine croissance, avec une dĂ©lĂ©gation de tĂąches intĂ©ressante ;
  • qui permet de rencontrer un grand nombre de professionnels, acadĂ©miques, diplomates et d’amĂ©liorer ses connaissances du fonctionnement des institutions prĂ©sentes Ă  Bruxelles et en Belgique (OTAN, SEAE, Parlement europĂ©en, Parlement belge, ReprĂ©sentations permanentes belges, Port d’Anvers) ;
  • rĂ©munĂ©rĂ© de 900 € par mois.

 Merci d’adresser votre candidature sous forme de CV et lettre de motivation dans un fichier PDF commun avant le 13 fĂ©vrier 2019 Ă  l’adresse suivante : e.trappeniers@egmontinstitute.be

Image below: d’Egmont Palace, Brussels

egmontpalace

D’Egmont palace is used for receptions and meetings by the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and hosts many events organized by the Royal Institute for International Relations.

 

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