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JOINT COMMUNICATION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL for a renewed impetus of the Africa-EU Partnership

JOIN/2017/017 final
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Brussels, 4.5.2017

JOIN(2017) 17 final

JOINT COMMUNICATION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL

for a renewed impetus of the Africa-EU Partnership

{SWD(2017) 150 final}
{SWD(2017) 151 final}


Contents

1.Introduction

2.A changing landscape in Africa

3.EU strategic objectives

4.A stronger political relationship

5.Turning strategic objectives into actions

5.1.More resilient States and societies

A.Prevent conflicts, address crises and peacebuilding

B.Strengthen governance systems

C.Manage migration and mobility

5.2.More and better jobs, especially for youth

A.Attract responsible and sustainable investments

B.Energise Africa

C.Transform African agriculture and agro-businesses, and its blue economy, including fisheries

D.Advance knowledge and skills



1.Introduction

2017 is a defining year for the partnership between Europe and Africa. In a rapidly changing global landscape, Africa is experiencing profound economic, political and societal changes, and its importance to the internal and external dimensions of Europe's security and prosperity is becoming ever more obvious. Europe and Africa have much to gain from increased political and economic ties, but also a lot to lose if they fail to act.

The 5th Africa-EU Summit due to take place in November 2017 provides a critical opportunity for African and European Leaders to respond to this evolving context and reshape and deepen the Africa-EU partnership.

This Communication proposes a revitalised framework for joint action that the EU and its Member States could bring to the Summit and that could be reflected in a Road Map for 2018-2020. It envisages a stronger, deeper and more action-oriented strategic partnership for more prosperity and stability in the two continents. It sets out policy priorities and an initial set of concrete initiatives for 2018-2020 and beyond, to be coordinated and strengthened with EU Member States and further developed jointly with African partners, in response to Africa's own Agenda 2063 1 and building on the Global strategy for the EU's Foreign and Security Policy 2 It pays particular attention to the aspirations and needs of youth, whose involvement in the overall process will be strongly encouraged.

It contributes to the ongoing reflection, launched through the Joint Communication on A renewed partnership with the countries of Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific 3 , which will inform the negotiations that will start in 2018, in view of renewing the EU's longstanding partnership with African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries, in particular the Africa pillar.

It is guided by international frameworks, such as the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 4 , its Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) on financing for development 5 and the Paris Agreement on climate change 6 . It is consistent with other relevant EU policies. 7

2.A changing landscape in Africa

In all its diversity, Africa is present on the international scene with more confidence, dynamism and optimism than ever before.

Over the last two decades, Africa has demonstrated impressive economic progress. Positive transformations are taking place in a number of countries. An increasing number of African governments and regional organisations are taking a leading role in addressing the security, political and poverty reduction challenges within their borders and beyond as well as playing a more active role in promoting good governance and the rule of law. In a number of countries, this has allowed state and society to become more resilient, increasing citizens' political participation and progress towards structural transformation.

Still, these encouraging trends are often fragile and not yet inclusive or sustainable enough to offer better prospects for a large part of the population, and especially for Africa's growing numbers of young people. The opening political space in some countries contrasts with regressive trends in others. Several countries have been unable to reform and to recover from conflict to the extent or pace necessary and so suffer from fragility. Many countries still face severe constraints on their sustainable economic development and depend heavily on exploiting natural resources. Indeed overall economic growth on the African continent is currently slowing down. Beyond local factors, transnational security challenges, in particular organised crime, including trafficking in human beings, and terrorism, pose threats to regional stability and sustainable development. Environmental degradation on land and sea, the consequences of climate change, and outbreaks of infectious diseases such as Ebola also threaten progress. The outbreak of famine in South Sudan, in Nigeria and Somalia highlight the effect and inter-linkages of insecurity, climate change and food and water shortages. These challenges have led to unprecedented levels of forced displacements in Africa. They have also fuelled increased irregular migration, first and foremost within Africa but also towards Europe, which in turn increases pressure on political leadership and governance systems in all countries affected.

Demographic dynamics will be one of the most significant structural changes in the world in the 21st century. By 2050, Africa's population will be 2.4 billion of predominantly young people 8 . The way these changes will be managed politically and accommodated economically will define the future of the continent and beyond.

On the one hand, demographic projections in Africa leave little doubt about the crucial need to generate millions of new jobs. According to projections 9 , Sub-Saharan Africa needs to create 18 million new jobs each year up to 2035 to absorb new labour market entrants, compared to the 3 million formal jobs created today. In addition, given the small size of the formal sector and the absence of social protection systems in most countries a majority of young people will continue to resort to the informal economy, including subsistence agriculture, as mode of survival.

On the other hand, such population growth potentially offers significant economic opportunities. Overall private consumption driven by a burgeoning middle class 10 is projected to reach EUR 2 trillion annually in 2025 11 , and companies in Africa are expected to offer an even larger market, with spending levels projected to reach EUR 3.3 trillion annually by 2025.

3.EU strategic objectives

In this changing and global context, it is clearly in the EU strategic interest to deepen and adapt its longstanding partnership with Africa.

Over the past 10 years, the EU and Africa have already built a stronger and more political partnership based on shared values and interests, enshrined in the Joint Africa-EU Strategy 12 (JAES). Today the EU is collectively Africa's main foreign investor 13 , its principle trading partner 14 , a key security provider 15 , its main source of remittances 16 , and its first partner in development and humanitarian assistance 17 . An ever closer network of human contacts and exchanges strengthens the bonds between the peoples from both continents.

Building on the JAES, the EU should pursue three interrelated strategic objectives:

·A stronger mutual engagement and an increased cooperation in the international arena, based on common values and shared interests, including in bilateral relations;

·Security, on land and on sea, and the fight against transnational threats as an investment in security on both continents;

·Sustainable and inclusive economic development in Africa, to create the jobs that the continent needs and to seize the opportunities it offers to Europe.

4.A stronger political relationship

Delivering an ambitious common agenda requires first and foremost investment at political level to lift the existing political relationship with Africa to a higher strategic stage. This can be achieved by:

·Deepening coalitions on global governance issues, by seeking increased dialogue and effective cooperation within international fora. The African Union (AU) and the African group in the UN are strategic partners and key allies to strengthen the role of the UN and the rule-based global order which is essential for future peace and prosperity. All partners have a role in enhancing the effectiveness, accountability and representativeness of the whole UN system, including the Security Council. Such cooperation should seek to reform and strengthen multilateral institutions, and develop agreements norms and actions in response to global challenges such as climate change, epidemics, pressure on natural resources as well as migration and mobility and humanitarian crises. Likewise it shall serve to promote and support the rule of law and justice at the international level, including ensuring justice and accountability for the most serious crimes, in compliance with principles set out in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court;

·Increasing cooperation on common interests and based on frequent political interaction, by using the full potential of the JAES and other existing cooperation frameworks and agreements at the most appropriate level (multilateral, continental, regional, national, local), based on subsidiarity principles. In particular, the EU and African partners should re-invigorate the political dialogue at ministerial level, not just on foreign policy issues, but also on sectorial policy initiatives and partnerships;

·Delivering a people-centred partnership, by cementing people-to-people and business-to-business contacts and exchanges and by strengthening in particular engagement with local authorities, the private sector and civil society. This has proven to be challenging and calls for renewed joint efforts. Dialogue with all these actors will be encouraged in the run-up to the Summit and beyond.

5.Turning strategic objectives into actions

The EU's external policy framework and Africa's own reform Agenda 2063 provide the right guidance to turn these objectives into a transformative agenda, structured around two main strands:

·Building more resilient states and societies;

·Creating more and better jobs, especially for youth.

5.1.More resilient States and societies

In Agenda 2063, Africa envisions a peaceful, secure and prosperous Africa, an Africa of good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law and an Africa where development is people-driven, unleashing the potential of its youth – in particular young women – and leaving no one behind.

These aspirations fully meet the EU's own values and goals, in particular as fragility beyond its borders threatens all its vital interests.

A.Prevent conflicts, address crises and peacebuilding

Never before have EU security interests been so intertwined with Africa. The direct connection between Libya and the Sahel, between the Horn of Africa and the Gulf, call for a more strategic approach going beyond established formats. Threats to maritime security in the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Guinea affect directly Europe's economy.

Terrorism, violent extremism and transnational organised crimes, such as trafficking in human beings, as well as more traditional threats to peace and stability (intra-state conflicts, local conflicts over resources, electoral violence, armed robbery and piracy etc.), all constitute symptoms of a deeper structural instability and fragility.

African vision

In Agenda 2063, Africa aspires to a peaceful and secure continent. With the adoption of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), Africa ambitions to strengthen mechanisms for securing peace and reconciliation at all levels, address emerging threats to Africa's peace and security; and to put in place strategies for the continent to finance its security needs. Paul Kagame's report "The imperative to reinforce our Union" and Donal Kaberuka's report on "Securing predictable and sustainable financing for peace in Africa 18 " are important stepping stones to further strengthen this process.

EU action

Africa remains one of the centres of gravity of EU action in the field of security. Out of 33 completed or ongoing civilian and military EU-led operations, 19 were deployed in Africa and today, 5 out of 6 current EU-led military operations are deployed in Africa. Through the African Peace Facility (APF) alone, the EU channelled substantial funding amounting to over EUR 2 billion since 2004. This comes in addition to important security/counter terrorism/radicalisation related assistance programmes at national level, and other activities conducted by the EU and by individual Member States. In line with the EU Global Strategy the EU wants to reassert its position as a security provider and Africa's key partner on operationalising the APSA and supporting regional strategies, hence contributing to ongoing African efforts at finding "African solutions to African problems".

The EU proposes to take the partnership a step further by boosting efforts to:

(i) Further intensify coordination and dialogue, by:

·Setting up a collaborative platform bringing together European and African partners as well as the UN and international actors to build stronger resilience against the full spectrum of threats and crisis triggering;

(ii) Prevent conflicts, by:

·Strengthening support to the full operationalisation of the APSA and the building of African capacities;

·Enhancing security sector reform capacity building initiatives, notably through CSDP 19 missions and through complementary support to capacity-building in support of security and development;

·Enhancing civilian rule of law and law enforcement capacities as well as African countries' abilities to effectively counter terrorism, piracy, violent radicalisation and organised crime, including trafficking in human beings.

·Enhancing the effective implementation of relevant UNSC resolutions, policies and conventions, through providing relevant expertise;

·Reinforcing the availability of expert cooperation with individual African partners including through capacity building projects to enhance maritime and aviation security e.g. via the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace 20 ;

(iii) Address crises and improve conflict management, by:

·Continuing to assist the African Union, sub regional organisations and countries in peace support operations through the EU's specific instruments such as the APF and through CSDP operations, at their request and where deemed appropriate. Activities could also include the initial steps of post conflict peacebuilding efforts such as disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration. 

Flagships

·Establish a cooperation platform bringing together the UN, European, African and other international partners, to increase political dialogue, strategic discussions and joint actions in the field of conflict prevention, peacebuilding and development.

·Make an initial contribution to the AU Peace Fund provided its governance structure is in place and continue working with the AU and the UN to implement the AU/Kaberuka planon financial sustainability options.

·Support African initiatives in the field of maritime security 21 by upgrading maritime awareness strategies, tools and information networks as well as police and judiciary systems.

B.Strengthen governance systems

Governance, development and security are intimately linked. Resilient societies, with accountable, democratic, effective and transparent institutions at all levels, which are operating in a stable and predictable macro-economic framework and where human rights are respected, are at the core of sustainable development and stability. Such societies are also best prepared to adapt, respond to and properly manage changes in the external economic environment, and internal changes, including through delivering effectively services to a growing population.

Progress in governance is uneven. Democracy is gaining ground, but needs to be nurtured as the integrity of electoral process is often challenged and constitutional changes or attempts thereof to allow for incumbents to remain in power occur. Progress in the promotion and protection of human rights is still unequal and variable due to insufficient governance, instability and conflicts. 

Inclusive participation of citizens in public decision making and in particular the involvement of youth and women in formal political processes will increase trust in state institutions. These institutions also often lack capacity to function effectively, for example, in areas such as public finance management including transparency of public procurement and expenditure and the fight against corruption and fraud. In particular, domestic revenue mobilisation, a prerequisite for the state being able to deliver, is often below the necessary levels and is undermined by Illicit Financial Flows 22 . At least USD 50 billion 23 leave the continent annually through illicit financial outflows, largely surpassing the total amount of annual Official Development Assistance (ODA).

In all areas of governance, from participation and empowerment to transparency, accountability and quality of delivery of public services, digital services 24 and technologies can play – and are already playing – an important enabling role. Both EU and Africa can benefit and learn from each other's experiences.

African vision

In Agenda 2063, Africa aspires to "be a continent where democratic values, culture, practices, universal principles of human rights, gender equality, justice and the rule of law are entrenched", and "have capable institutions and transformative leadership at all levels". It envisages a people-centred development where citizens actively participate in the social, economic and political development, and where institutions are accountable and deliver effective and efficient services with competent professionals. With the African Governance Architecture the continent has equipped itself with an important framework for coordination and democracy-building. The African Peer Review Mechanism, a unique Africa-owned instrument, is a key pillar of this architecture.

EU action

The EU is Africa's main partner in governance, democracy, rule of law and human rights, with strong and longstanding engagement at national, regional and continental level as fundamental element of its relationship. 25 Structural political dialogues are held with most African countries in line with the articles on political dialogue under the respective association agreement e.g. Article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement for African ACP countries. In addition the EU provides substantial support for the implementation of the African governance commitments, through programmes with national, regional and continental institutions, complemented by actions aiming at strengthening local authorities and civil society participation in policy dialogue. The EU is also supporting African countries' efforts to mobilise more domestic resources, improve public finance management and ensure debt sustainability, in particular through the implementation of the "Collect more, Spend better 26 " approach, based on the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.

Building on its experience the EU proposes to take the partnership a step further by boosting efforts to:

(i) Support democracy and promote human rights and the rule of law, by

-Strengthening and expanding the political dialogues with partner countries using to the full provisions of existing frameworks and agreements;

-Encouraging the ratification and implementation of international and AU's own human rights instruments at national level;

-Further strengthening confidence in democratic processes through enhanced cooperation on Electoral Observation, in particular with the AU, including follow-up to electoral observation recommendations;

-Strengthening dialogue and information exchange, drawing lessons and extracting best practices from electoral observation missions that have cooperated on the ground in the past, democracy cooperation programmes and support to the African Governance Architecture by developing contacts and joint events with all stakeholders including government, political parties, parliamentary assemblies and civil society, to share experiences and expertise and identify ways to strengthen democracy across the two continents.

(ii) Promote accountable, transparent and responsive governance, by:

-Supporting institutions' capacity to offer opportunities for the increasing number of youth to participate in all levels of societies;

-Increasing the participation of citizens in decision making processes, enhancing transparency and accountability of public administration, as well as the efficiency and quality in delivering public services, notably through the deployment of eGovernance services, while ensuring respect for privacy and a high level of personal data protection;

-Strengthening joint efforts to facilitate, preserve, and broaden the space for civil society engagement in advocacy and policy shaping;

-Supporting a stronger role and capacity for local authorities in particular to address the challenges related to rapid urbanisation, notably by supporting the implementation of the African Charter on Local Governance and the AHCLA 27 and by facilitating twinnings;

-Deepening the empowerment of women, youth as well as vulnerable people, through targeted programmes fostering their participation in decision making processes and ensuring equal access for all to quality education and vocational and training, adequate and sustainable social protection, as well as universal health coverage, including vaccination, reproductive health care and prevention of communicable disease;

-Fostering cooperation on public finance management, including with a focus on proactive policies/instruments fighting corruption, and fraud and ensuring efficient control systems for public finance by supporting capacity development in areas such as reforms to tax policy, tax administration, and revenue management from natural resources, as well as combatting illicit financial flows, in the follow-up of the Addis Ababa Agenda for Action;

(iii) Building resilience to environmental degradation and humanitarian crises, by:

-Increased effort to support governments' investment in disaster risk reduction, capacity building for early action, protracted displacement crises and the provision of basic needs to better withstand, adapt, and recover from stress, shocks and traumas, including in urban settings;

-Helping African partners to address vulnerability to disease outbreaks and other health threats - such as antimicrobial resistance - in particular through strengthening health systems, building capacity for emergency preparedness and response 28 , and supporting sanitation and provision of clean water;

-Strengthening Africa's own capacity to manage environmental and societal challenges through the use of space technologies and information including data and services provided by the European Earth Observation Programme Copernicus;

-Facilitating improved social and environmental conditions in relation to the exploitation of natural resources, including in the process of minerals extraction, processing and recycling.

Flagships

·Strengthen dialogue and information exchange on democracy support starting with a Joint AU-EU high-level conference on electoral processes, democracy and governance in Africa and Europe; in line with African and European policies, involving relevant institutions, including the Pan-African and European Parliament, as well as civil society and academia;

·Double support to domestic resource mobilisation by 2020, in line with the Addis Tax Initiative;

·Joint action to strengthen sustainable management of natural resources, notably via the elaboration of a joint EU-Africa Charter.

C.Manage migration and mobility

Mobility and migration constitute important economic, security-related and social issues in both Africa and Europe. They can enrich and strengthen societies but also destabilise them if not managed properly. With migration and mobility flows - including forced displacement - at record high levels within Africa, and at the same time with increasing numbers of migrants and asylum seekers arriving in Europe from Africa, both continents have recognised that more needs to be done in particular to prevent hazardous journeys, to reduce deaths on the route, and to step-up practical cooperation. Africa and Europe have a shared interest and a shared responsibility, calling also for global solutions, based on the principle of solidarity and responsibility-sharing. The New York Declaration 29 provides a very good political framework for addressing large movements of refugees and migrants.

African Vision

In Agenda 2063, Africa envisions to have dynamic and mutually beneficial links with its diaspora and be a continent of seamless borders, to bring an end to the brain drain and also all forms of "illegal migrations and trafficking of youth" whilst seeking greater mobility amongst, for instance, academics, researchers staff and students - e.g. emphasising the importance of intra-African youth mobility. Other priorities include improvements in remittances' mechanisms and responsible labour migration policies. Furthermore Africa aspires to be a continent with no human trafficking, where organized crime and other forms of criminal networks are ended.

EU action

The EU addresses migration in a spirit of partnership and mutual trust through continuous dialogue and cooperation with its African partners. Important frameworks for dialogue are already in place, such as the Africa-EU Migration and Mobility Dialogue (MMD). Further initiatives bring together European governments and institutions with their counterparts from Central, Western and Northern Africa ('Rabat Process'), and from Northern and Eastern Africa ('Khartoum Process'). Leaders from the 31 European and 35 African countries as members of these two dialogue processes committed to an ambitious action plan in Valletta in November 2015.

The EU's most ambitious and innovative approach to effectively managing migration is the Partnership Framework 30 , which provides an umbrella for practical cooperation in addressing root causes of migration and in migration management between the EU and third countries of origin and transit, fully respecting humanitarian and human rights obligations. Within the spirit of the Partnership Framework, the EU and its Member States have recently increased efforts vis-à-vis their partners in Northern Africa in order to save more lives in the Mediterranean and more effectively manage migratory flows. This led to the Joint Communication: Migration on the Central Mediterranean route Managing flows, saving lives 31 , and was confirmed again by the European Council, in the Malta Declaration 32 on addressing the Central Mediterranean route.

The Emergency Trust Fund for Africa 33 (EUTF Africa) is a key tool in delivering on the commitments made in Valletta, just as it remains of utmost importance to the Partnership Framework approach. Worth over EUR 2.6 billion 34 and covering the Sahel region and Lake Chad, the Horn of Africa and North of Africa, the EUTF Africa addresses root causes of destabilisation, irregular migration, forced displacement 35 and trafficking in human beings by supporting job creation and economic development, resilience, migration management as well as stability and governance.

Beyond these processes and initiatives, the proposed European External Investment Plan 36 (EIP) will be the EU's most powerful vehicle for promoting investment and job creation in Africa – contributing to sustainable growth and targeting directly root causes of migration and forced displacement.

Within these existing frameworks, the EU proposes to take the partnership a step further by continuing efforts under the Partnership Framework approach, as well as :

(i) Address regional migration flows and related cross-border challenges, by:

·Supporting the adoption and internalisation of regulatory frameworks conducive to legal migration and mobility within Africa;

·Addressing forced displacement and promoting international protection based on the principle of responsibility sharing, by helping preserve and enhance human capital of those forced to flee their homes, ensure their protection and ultimately provide developmental benefits for the displaced and their hosts;

·Stepping up cooperation on border management, including through the concept of Integrated Border Management.

·Working together towards the finalisation of the Global Compacts in 2018 and cooperate closely with relevant International Organisations;

(ii) Maximise the dividends of regular migration and mobility and its potential as a development driver through:

·Further support to the work of the African Institute for Remittances;

·Improved knowledge, operation and capacity of the African diaspora as a development actor;

·Further support to diaspora investment and entrepreneurship in countries of origin;

·Further increase of students and researchers' mobility.

(iii) Enhance cooperation on irregular migration, by

·Supporting the implementation of comprehensive legislative frameworks covering all aspects of trafficking in human beings and smuggling of persons, in line with the UN Convention Against Organised Crime and its supplementing protocols, including by stepping up cooperation in the fight against trafficking and smuggling networks;

·Putting in place adequate measures to manage incoming, outgoing and transit migration flows, including by promoting the establishment of reliable civil registration/ID systems, and of procedures ensuring the respect of migrants' rights and of the principle of non-refoulement;

·Preventing and discouraging the use of irregular channels of migration and strengthening cooperation to facilitate the return and sustainable reintegration of irregular migrants, while promoting regular migration and mobility opportunities.

Flagships

·Support African initiatives on regular Intra-African migration and mobility, including support to the development of the Protocol on Free Movement of persons in Africa and to the Protocol Relating to the Specific Right to Nationality and the Eradication of Statelessness in Africa; support to social protection schemes including the portability of social rights; mechanisms for portability and recognition of skills and qualifications. 

·Increase Africa-EU cooperation in the fight against smuggling and trafficking networks, including by supporting African states' accession to and implementation of the UN "Convention against Transnational Organised Crime" and its supplementing protocols.

5.2.More and better jobs, especially for youth

In Agenda 2063, Africa envisions a paradigm shift allowing for "a prosperous continent, with the means and resources to drive its own development and where economies are structurally transformed through industrialisation, manufacturing and value addition to create shared growth through private sector development, entrepreneurship and decent jobs for all".

With a view to making this paradigm shift a reality, the EU accompanies Africa's industrialisation with the ultimate goal of creating wealth through more and better jobs, focusing on increasing labour productivity and quality investments in value-adding and labour intensive sectors, particularly in the agri-food sector, in respect of internationally agreed labour rights and decent working conditions as well as on women's empowerment. At the same time, it is crucial to ensure that the economic transformation takes into account the challenges and opportunities of climate change and environmental sustainability.

A.Attract responsible and sustainable investments

Macroeconomic stability, the creation of regional markets, an appropriate investment climate and a diversified value-adding economy are essential for economic development and decent job creation.

The private sector holds the largest potential for generating jobs and it is therefore essential to attract responsible private – domestic and foreign – investments in Africa. That requires developing stable and open financial systems for increased private sector credit and creating an enabling investment climate, while encouraging the responsible conduct of investors respecting social and environmental standards and good corporate governance.

African vision

In Agenda 2063, Africa aspires to become "a continent where freedom of people, capital, goods and services will result in significant increases in trade and investments". This translates into the need to promote "macroeconomic policies that facilitate growth, employment creation, investments and industrialisation", and to "develop the African private sector through engagement and a conducive climate, fostering pan-African businesses through the growth of regional manufacturing hubs and scaled up intra-African trade".

EU action

The EU has been working extensively with African partners to develop the business environment and investment climate, advance Africa's economic integration process at national, regional and continental level, as well as to crowd in public and private investments across the continent. Boosting in particular private investments in complement to scarce public resources is indispensable and lies at the heart of the EIP.

The EU proposes to take the partnership a step further to :

(i) Boost massive responsible and sustainable investments in Africa, in particular in the context of the proposed EIP by:

·Supporting a predictable and conducive investment climate in Africa for responsible and sustainable investment, through dialogue with African countries and the private sector;

·Supporting core enabling infrastructures, in particular in sectors including sustainable energy, water, transport, information and communications technologies, environment, sustainable use of natural resources and blue growth, social infrastructure, human capital ; this will include offering partnerships with EU industry, in particular where it is world leader;

·Supporting Africa's entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups through dedicated local business support structures and services;

·Working with international financial institutions and development banks to leverage resources from capital markets, focusing on value adding sectors with the highest potential for sustainable job creation and low-carbon development, and seizing the opportunities offered by the green, blue and circular economy;

·Promoting corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship and responsible business conduct frameworks;

(ii) Foster European and Africa business relations by:

·Establishing a structured dialogue with European and African private sector, via a Sustainable Business for Africa (SB4A) platform in the framework of the EIP, business fora, and "Economic Diplomacy Missions" of European investors to Africa;

·Further strengthening EU-Africa trade relations, by ensuring partners can reap the full benefits of the stable and predictable framework provided by the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA), Free Trade Agreements and other beneficial trade regimes, in the context of a reinforced multilateral trading system. They will also benefit from a revised EU Aid for Trade strategy;

(iii) Support Africa's ambition to build a true inner-African market by:

·Facilitating trade through sustainable customs reform and modernisation support;

·Further strengthening the "Pan-African Quality Infrastructure (PAQI)" 37  with specific emphasis on rolling out a pan-African standardisation system, inspired by EU Single Market best practices;

·Supporting preparations for a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA).

Flagships

·Generate massive EU investments in Africa via the proposed EIP, expected to leverage EUR 44 billion of investments until 2020, supported by a structured dialogue with European and African private sector under a Sustainable Business for Africa (SB4A) platform. Synergies will be sought with similar national initiatives by EU Member States and at multilateral level, in particular with the G20 "Compact with Africa".

·Support a more predictable and conducive investment climate in Africa, notably via the endorsement of Africa-EU guiding principles for investment policymaking.

·Support Africa's digital agenda, focussing on the deployment of eGovernance services, initiatives and investments that facilitate the development of agri-business through access to and use of market, climate and environmental data, and on the development of open digital research environment to foster skills and knowledge.

B.Energise Africa

Achieving universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy in Africa, including in rural areas, is also an opportunity for generating inclusive development and jobs for both continents, aligned with the climate challenge. It is in the shared interest to enhance cooperation based on the common values of clean energy transition that the EU champions and leads globally.

The demand for electricity supply is expected to triple across Africa by 2030 38 as economies grow, population expand and urbanise. Some 700 million, predominantly in Sub-Saharan Africa, are without access to modern forms of energy today and neither current electrification rates nor the annual GDP growth is thought to be sufficient to ensure universal energy access. Yet Africa's rich indigenous sustainable energy resources far surpass its current and prospective needs. Realising Africa's potential depends on increased power generation and energy efficient use, better cross-border interconnections including with Europe and the right policy framework for governing the energy sector. Public funding alone could not provide the investments needed to meet this demand.

African vision

Africa is determined to participate in global efforts on climate change mitigation that support and broaden the policy space for sustainable development on the continent. Such efforts include measures established in African nationally determined contributions on climate change. In Agenda 2063, Africa envisions "harnessing all African energy resources to ensure modern, efficient, reliable, cost-effective, renewable and environmentally friendly energy for all African households, industries and institutions".

EU action

The EU has partnered with Africa in the field of energy for many years and is leading efforts in the Decade of Sustainable Energy for all 39 , with the objective to increase electricity generation and distribution by raising the share of renewable energy and reducing the proportion of fossil fuel in the total energy production.

The EU has set aspirational targets for its sustainable energy cooperation with Sub-Saharan Africa 40 , contributing also to the COP21 objectives: by 2020, the EU will support bringing access to sustainable energy to 30 million people, delivering 5 GW of renewable energy generation capacity and saving 11 million ton CO2 per year, in support to the African Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI).

In the case of North Africa the partnership on energy continues to develop at regional level in the framework of the Union for the Mediterranean. At bilateral level, the EU works with North African countries with a wide portfolio of financial and technical assistance programs and, in the specific case of a key energy supplier like Algeria, through a Strategic Energy Partnership.

The EU proposes to take the partnership a step further by boosting its efforts to:

(i) Spur public and private investments in renewable energy in Africa, in particular in the context of the proposed EIP, by:

·Facilitating public-private cooperation via a high level platform to build a strong economic case for accelerated private sector investments in Africa;

·Playing a catalytic role by helping African governments to improve the enabling environment for the energy sector. Based on its comprehensive policy frameworks on energy and climate including the latest Clean Energy for All Europeans package 41 , the EU may share as relevant with African partners a wealth of unique experiences, knowledge and best practice in policy analysis and regulation to trigger sustainable energy production and energy system modernisation, and, where relevant, regional market integration;

·Helping building regional integration of energy markets in Africa, through the harmonisation of electricity regulations;

·Promoting cross-border interconnections including with Europe to ensure a reliable and affordable energy supply;

(ii) Deepen strategic alliances and collaboration, by:

·Intensifying dialogue and coordination in the framework of the Africa-EU energy partnership, with EU Member States through the EU Energy Initiative (EUEI), and with key partners and initiatives such as G20, G7, SE4All and USAID Power Africa, to foster cooperation;

·Partnering with local authorities in a bottom-up transition to a global low-carbon and climate-resilient economy and society, including through initiatives such as the Global Covenant of Mayors (which builds on the successful EU Covenant of Mayors) and the further extension of its Regional Africa components;

·Enhancing collaboration between researchers and innovators in the framework of the EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue on science, technology and innovation.

Flagships

·Deliver the EU contribution to the AREI and reach 5 GW of renewable energy generation capacity by 2020 while bringing access to sustainable energy to 30 million people in Africa and saving 11 million tons of CO2 per year.

·Launch a new initiative to facilitate EU and Africa public-private cooperation on increased investments in Africa's sustainable energy sector via a High Level Platform to improve the investment climate and de-risk private investments, facilitate knowledge sharing on innovative business and financing models and best practice on public finance leveraging.

·Launch a new EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership on climate change and sustainable energy focusing on deployment 42 as well as capacity building in energy efficiency and renewables and on climate services.

C.Transform African agriculture and agro-businesses, and its blue economy, including fisheries 

Agriculture, including livestock, fisheries and aquaculture are vital for Africa. It represents the main source of income for some 90% of the continent's rural population and provides the means of subsistence to an estimated 75% of the labour force, half of which are women. Productivity remains low and based on small-scale subsistence farming and artisanal fishing. Lack of capital, unsustainable management of resources, land property issues and maritime insecurity are key obstacles preventing the required growth. Africa is losing several billion euros due to overexploited fish stocks and sub-optimal fisheries governance. Furthermore the impacts of climate change – current and expected – put additional pressure on the sectors.

Unlocking the potential of the food producing sectors appears to be one of the most effective ways to address food security, create employment and income opportunities and empower hundreds of millions of Africans, in particular the young people.

African vision

In Agenda 2063, Africa envisions to "transform, grow and industrialise its economies including through value addition of natural resources, productivity plans and regional value chains", while promoting "the implementation of industrial policies at all levels, with focus on MSME 43 s and agribusinesses" and "strategies to grow the African blue/ocean and green economies" 44 .

EU action

The EU is one of Africa's main partners for agriculture and blue economy development. 45 Its action aims to enhance the role of responsible value chains in rural and maritime development programmes and to strengthen the accompanying regulatory and policy framework, while managing precious resources like water and land in a sustainable way.

The EU intends to take the partnership a step further by boosting its efforts to:

(i) Spur responsible and sustainable value chain development by:

·Facilitating private sector investments along agro-food value chains, building on initiatives such as the Agriculture Financing Instrument (AgriFI), the proposed EIP and FAO-OECD guidance for responsible agricultural supply chains;

·Assist Africa in seizing market opportunities for the African food production. The EPAs offer major opportunities, including free access to the EU, flexible rules for sourcing inputs, dialogue and cooperation on agriculture, and EPA implementation plans. For least-developed countries without EPAs, free market access is provided through "Everything But Arms". The EU will also continue to support the development of Africa's capacity to comply with safety and quality standards, including on sanitary and phytosanitary issues;

·Increasing the sustainable productivity of the African fisheries sector through expanding as appropriate the network of Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreements between the EU and African countries, and improving African partners' capacity in sustainable fisheries management and the fight against Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing (IUU) through cooperation and dialogue under the EU's IUU Regulation 46 ;

·Promoting the implementation of climate action in African agriculture as laid down in African countries' Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs);

·Promoting effective mainstreaming of climate change adaptation, biodiversity conservation and restoration and disaster-risk reduction in African agriculture policies, including through restoration of ecosystems and nature-based solutions;

(ii) Foster skills, innovation and collaborative research by:

·Strengthening the mobilisation of European and African expertise in research and innovation, in particular by reinforcing the implementation of the Africa-EU roadmap on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture 47 (FNSSA), the forthcoming Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area (PRIMA) and the All Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Alliance;

·Enhancing vocational training and education in agriculture and agri-food entrepreneurial activities, building on previous and current support to farmers' organisations;

·Scaling-up support to access to finance, access to connectivity for small farmers and the use of e-Agriculture digital services to boost productivity and income;

Flagships

·Spur value chain development by facilitating responsible investments for sustainable agri-business and blue economy, using the range of instruments including AgriFI and the proposed European External Investment Plan. 

·Generate EU and African investments to support research and innovation in agriculture via the EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership on FNSSA and increase the uptake of new technologies by local communities for increased agricultural income and nutrition.

·Expanding as appropriate the network of Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreements between the EU and African countries. 

D.Advance knowledge and skills

Although participation in education in most African countries has increased significantly over the last decades, still over 20% of African children, girls in particular, do not complete primary education; about 50% do not have access to secondary education and only 7% access tertiary education. Current levels of basic learning, which is necessary for young people to continue their education through Vocational Education and Training (VET) and higher education, are still very low. Many young people who manage to complete primary and secondary education leave without the knowledge and skills they need for further learning and to be active, responsible and productive citizens.

There is a mismatch between the skills that young people receive through VET and higher education, and those needed for their working life. Education and VET systems need to be more relevant to the needs of the labour market, more closely linked to social and industrial development, more innovative, and of higher quality. As many young people work in the informal sector or need to create their own livelihoods, it is vital they have access to entrepreneurial education and training, and business support services to be able to integrate the formal sector.

Better linking education, innovation and research will enhance the contribution of education to jobs and sustainable development, in particular in the fields of distance and open learning.

African vision

In Agenda 2063, Africa envisions to "catalyse education and skills revolution and actively promote science, technology, research and innovation, to build knowledge, human capital, capabilities and skills required to drive innovation".

EU action

The EU is Africa's longstanding partner in the area of education, from early childhood and primary to higher education, including VET and entrepreneurial learning 48 as well as in research and innovation.

The EU promotes equal opportunities, reduced inequalities and increased employability, with social cohesion, equity, diversity, inclusiveness and the elimination of gender disparities.

The EU proposes to take the partnership a step further by boosting its efforts to:

(i) Support quality education at all levels by:

·Increasing joint efforts to facilitate access to and completion of primary and secondary education for all children, especially girls, through bilateral programmes and the Global Partnership for Education;

·Addressing gender and education, including gender-based violence, under an EU Gender Equality Initiative;

·Further encourage African countries' participation in the Erasmus+ programme, increasing the mobility of staff and students and academic cooperation thereby improving students' skills and the quality of and relevance of education.

·Further supporting regional mobility and increasing support to the harmonisation of higher education through cross-border programmes, recognition of qualifications, improved quality assurance, innovation and to an enhanced "Tuning project";

(ii) Extend support for Vocational Education and Training and Entrepreneurship by:

·Launching an EU VET Facility that will provide high level expertise to national stakeholders to support transition processes towards more demand-driven VET systems adapted to the needs and opportunities of the labour market;

·Supporting mobility and capacity building in Higher Education through Erasmus+, and developing pilot projects to extend Erasmus+ VET mobility schemes to Africa;

·Supporting capacity-building projects promoting women and young peoples' active participation in society and the economy, notably through improving non-formal learning and enhancing synergies between education systems and the labour market;

·Supporting the development of digital skills and literacy and the use of digital technologies and services in providing forward looking, inclusive and high quality education. This also means supporting the capacity and skills of entrepreneurs, including women to use digital technology to build up businesses;

(iii) Intensify Africa-EU collaboration on research by:

·Enhancing collaboration between researchers and innovators from Africa and Europe, including through increasing professional development opportunities for researchers through the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and other types of Horizon 2020 projects;

·Supporting research capacity-building in Africa through programmes such as the African Union Research Grants;

·Supporting an open digital research environment for universities and research organisations in Africa.

Flagships

·Launch an African Youth facility, expanding the scope of Erasmus+ programme through 3 separate initiatives:

A. "Youth empowerment" programme to develop the capacities of youth organisations and promote mobility between young people and young entrepreneurs in Africa and Europe.

B. Pilot a VET mobility project.

C. Reinforce the African chapter of the Erasmus+ Students and Alumni Association.

·Establish an EU VET facility to strengthen the labour market relevance of VET and promote inclusion of vulnerable groups.

(1) Agenda 2063 AU, , 2015
(2) Global Strategy on the EU's Foreign and Security Policy  , 2016 – further referred to as EU Global Strategy
(3) Joint Communication on A renewed partnership with the countries of Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific  , JOIN(2016) 52 final
(4) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development UN, , 2015
(5) Addis Ababa Action Agenda UN, , 2015
(6) the Paris Agreement UN, , 2015
(7) These include notably the proposed new European consensus on development, the European neighbourhood policy, and the European agenda on migration and the Valletta action plan, the EU action plan on human rights and democracy, the existing legally binding association agreements with the different North African countries (except Libya) and the ACP countries.
(8) World population prospects UN, , 2015. By 2050, instead, the EU's population is projected to fall an 500 million with a rising share of elders.
(9) Regional economic outlook IMF, , 2015
(10) Tracking Africa’s Progress in Figures AfDB, , 2014
(11) Lions on the move II McKinsey Global Institute, , 2016
(12) Joint Africa-EU Strategy  , 2007
(13) EUR 32 billion of EU FDI flows to Africa in 2015 (33% of total FDI flows to Africa); EU accounted for 33.5% of African imports and 41% of African exports in 2016. The EIB also provides over 2 billion € of annual financing in Africa.
(14) The EU offers free access to the EU market for all products via Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) and the Everything But Arms initiative for least developed countries, and many products under Free Trade Agreements with Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia, and the Union's Generalised Scheme of Preferences.
(15) Through the African Peace Facility alone, the EU channelled funding amounting to over EUR 2 billion since 2004. The EU has also currently deployed 7 CSDP missions in Africa, both civilian and military, including operation Atalanta.
(16) EUR 21 billion of remittances from the EU to Africa in 2015 (36% of global flow to Africa).
(17) EUR 21 billion of collective ODA (EU and its Member States) to Africa in 2015 (50% of total ODA to Africa).
(18) It foresees in particular to secure financing for the AU through a 0.2% levy on imports to African countries. This should enable AU member states to fully fund the functioning of the AU Commission and to cover 75% of programmes.
(19)  Common Security and Defence Policy
(20) Regulation (EU) No 230/2014, OJ L77, 15.3.2014
(21)  Yaoundé Code of Conduct, Djibouti Code of Conduct, Lomé Charter
(22)  Unrecorded capital flows derived from corruption, criminal activity, tax evasion and laundered commercial transactions
(23) Report of the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa  , 2014
(24) Commission Staff Working Document, "Digital for Development", SWD(2017)
(25) Over EUR 3.3 billion are foreseen for 2014-2020 by the EU
(26) 'Collect More – Spend Better' Commission Staff Working Document, , SWD(2015) 198
(27) African Union High Council of Local Authorities
(28) This includes working through the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership programme (EDCTP2) on poverty-related infectious diseases.
(29) New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, adopted on 19 September 2016 by the United Nations General Assembly
(30) COM(2016) 385 final Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council and the European Investment Bank on establishing a new Partnership Framework with third countries under the European Agenda on Migration .
(31) Joint Communication to the European Parliament, the European Council and the Council on Migration on the Central Mediterranean route - Managing flows, saving lives. JOIN(2017) 4.
(32) http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2017/01/03-malta-declaration/
(33)

 Commission Decision C(2015)7293 final of 20 October 2015.

(34) With the European Development Fund as main funding source and pledged contributions from Member States and other donors. It announces an additional EUR 200 million in 2017 for the North Africa window of the EU Trust Fund for Africa, with a priority focus on migration-related projects concerning Libya,
(35) COM(2016)234 Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, Lives in Dignity: from Aid Dependence to Self-Reliance, Forced Displacement and Development .
(36)

Commission's proposal for a Regulation on the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) and establishing the EFSD Guarantee and the EFSD Guarantee Fund (COM(2016)586); Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Central Bank, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions and the European Investment Bank, "Strengthening European Investments for jobs and growth: Towards a second phase of the European Fund for Strategic Investments and a new European External Investment Plan". Brussels, 14.9.2016, COM(2016) 581 final .

(37) PAQI, officially inaugurated in 2013, aims at strengthening the development and implementation of African policies on Standards, Measurement, Conformity Assessment and Accreditation.
(38) IRENA, 2015
(39) In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2014-2024 the Decade of Sustainable Energy for All.
(40) Over EUR 2.7 billion are foreseen for 2014-2020 by the EU.
(41) COM(2016) 860 final  
(42) In line with COM (2016) 763
(43)  Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
(44) The transformation of Africa's agriculture is anchored in the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). The African Union's 2014 Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods provides further impetus to the CAADP and gives direction for agriculture on the continent for the next 10 years.
(45) Over EUR 4.2 billion are foreseen for 2014-2020 by the EU to support actions related to food and nutrition security, and sustainable agriculture and fisheries in Africa
(46) Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008 — EU system to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing  
(47)

  Roadmap towards a jointly funded EU-Africa Research & Innovation Partnership on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture . Addis Ababa, 4-5 April 2016.

(48) In the current programming (2014-2020), the EU is supporting bilateral education and VET programmes in Africa with approximately EUR 1.34 billion. In the same period the EU also supports education through global initiatives such as the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) with EUR 375 million.
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