The European Commission's Africa strategy, published Monday 9th March, stresses the bloc's top priorities, including climate change and digital transformation.
The 18-page "comprehensive strategy with Africa" is intended as a road map for the pivot to Europe's southern continental neighbor, being led by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who underscored the new focus by visiting the African Union headquarters in Ethiopia twice within her first 100 days in office.
- The communication is the first stage in a two-step approach: to firstly, set out the EU’s priorities with regards to a renewed partnership with Africa, followed by secondly, an intense consultation process with our African partners in order to agree at the Summit in October 2020 upon joint priorities to carry further together over the next year.
- The African Union (AU)-EU Ministerial in May 2020, as well as the AU-EU Summit in October 2020 will be key milestones in that consultation process.
The EU and Africa must join efforts to reach the Sustainable Development Goal of zero hunger and address the challenges of nutrition and food security by boosting safe and sustainable agri-food systems. A partnership on agriculture would support the development of environment-friendly agricultural practices, promote local production and integrate biodiversity concerns. This includes setting sanitary and phytosanitary standards and the protection of natural resources. Trade between the EU and Africa plays an instrumental role supporting opportunities for sustainable food systems. At the same time, agricultural food production, processing and distribution provides the bulk of direct employment and income in Africa particularly in rural areas contributing thus to a balanced territorial development. It has the potential to provide employment for a significant 4 part of the 800 million African people that are estimated to enter the workforce within the next 30 years.