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The Fifth African Union – European Union Summit

The fifth African Union – European Union (AU-EU) summit took place on 29-30 November 2017 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The AU-EU summit brought together EU and African leaders to define the future direction for cooperation between the two continents. They adopted a joint declaration outlining common priorities for the EU-Africa partnership in four strategic areas: economic opportunities for youth, peace and security, mobility and migration and cooperation on governance. As 60% of the African population is under the age of 25, African and EU leaders focused on investing in youth. For that, 120 youth participants from both continents came together at the fifth AU-EU summit.

The outcome document of the Youth summit that took place in October points out governance and political inclusion as one out of six key topics, as youth are often excluded from policy-making or confined to youth policies. Their inclusion in decentralizing governance, exchanging good practices, resource mobilisation and oversight of public bodies will increase the integrity of governance systems on both continents. Besides, there is a great opportunity within local governance for Youth to be drivers of the development of sustainable cities. In addition, the new EU external investment plan was presented to leaders on the occasion of the summit. This investment plan intends to trigger €44 billion in investments in Africa by 2020, thereby creating new job opportunities for young people across the African continent. Three major agreements were signed by the European Investment Bank (EIB) that will deliver benefits for people across Africa on local level: infrastructure projects for water in Cote d’Ivoire, transport routes in Madagascar, electricity modernization for Senegal.

Mobility and migration was discussed in depth due to the urgency relating to the dramatic situation of refugees and migrants in Libya. In this regard, the UN International Organization for Migration launched its 2018 World Migration Report, in which chapter three provides a discussion of key regional dimensions of, and developments in, migration. One issue the report is pointing out is the fundamental differences in migration experiences and dynamics across regions that need to be considered when discussing desirable regimes for the global governance of international migration.

For further information regarding the summit, please visit the following articles and press releases: European Union, Deutsche Welle, ECDPM, BMZ.

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