Ethiopia: AUC, EC reaffirm continued cooperation in human development

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - The African Union Commission (AUC) and the European Commission (EC) have reaffirmed their engagement in continued cooperation to maximise the benefits of science, technology and innovation.

Concluding the 8th College-to-College meeting of the two Commissions in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Thursday, they stated that cooperation would enable them to address the challenges of eradicating poverty, addressing the root causes of illegal migration and promoting sustainable development.

Addressing the root causes of illegal migration and promoting sustainable development, the meeting welcomed the efforts of the European Union (EU) towards the implementation of its 1.9 billion euro Emergency Trust Fund in this regard as well as the launch of a dedicated programme to assist their dialogue on migration.

In a joint communiqué, the two Colleges reiterated that the EU and Africa should tackle global problems jointly such as climate change, irregular migration, environmental issues, terrorism and transnational crime as well as illicit financial flows, and that "their voices will have greater impact if they communicate complementary positions".

Hosted by the AUC, the meeting was held under the co-chairmanship of AUC Chairperson Nkosazana C. Dlamini Zuma and the Vice-President of the European Commission/High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini.

On human development, the meeting welcomed the adoption of a roadmap by the Africa-EU High Level Policy Dialogue on science, technology and innovation, and the launch of a jointly funded and co-owned EU-Africa Partnership on Research and Innovation on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture.

"This initiative is in line with the agriculture and food systems' policy goals of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy, as well as the relevant sectorial strategic frameworks – namely the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024 (STISA-2014), the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and the Malabo Declaration for Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Prosperity," the communiqué said.

In addition, the meeting welcomed the contributions from European and African countries to support the advocacy and implementation of the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA) based on better Education Management Information System (EMIS), allowing to measure the teacher development and the effort made on girls' education.

"They also welcomed the recent announcement of the launch of a call for proposals of the Intra-Africa Mobility Scheme to promote the mobility of students and staff and contribute to the harmonisation of higher education systems in Africa," said the communiqué.

"The Colleges underlined the importance of Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) to ensure youth empowerment and employment by aligning TVET skills portability initiatives with ongoing work on harmonisation and quality assurance in higher education in Africa."

Agreeing that regional and continental integration is an engine for inclusive growth and sustainable development, the Colleges expressed support to the establishment of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) in Africa, building on existing regional integration processes.

They welcomed the progress in the Doha Development Agenda made at the 10th World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial conference in Nairobi and the strong commitment of all WTO members to advance negotiations on the remaining Doha issues including the interest of some to identify and discuss other issues for negotiations.

According to the joint communiqué, the Colleges, in line with the CAADP framework and the Malabo Declaration, "reaffirmed their support regarding the ambition to triple intra-African trade in agricultural products by 2025 and to increase value-added exports to the EU".

They would focus their support to CAADP Result Framework in order to reach the Malabo targets in the areas of productivity, Intra-Africa Trade and value chain development, climate change, resilience and sustainable agriculture as well as promoting responsible private sector investment in African agriculture.

Also, the Colleges underlined their support to Africa's drive to achieve rapid and sustainable industrialisation to create decent jobs and eradicate poverty.

"Particular attention must be paid to ensure an active role of the youth and women in these processes," they emphasised.

On infrastructure, they agreed that the Programme for Infrastructure Development for Africa (PIDA) will continue to orient their strategic cooperation towards innovative solutions to facilitate and accelerate infrastructure delivery in Africa, with the aim to significantly contribute to the realisation of Agenda 2063.

A number of major pan-African infrastructure projects in the transport, energy, water, and information and communications technology sectors that could leverage large-scale investments across Africa were identified.

In particular, they restated that they would intensify efforts towards improving aviation and maritime safety and security.

They would also continue their cooperation in the energy sector by addressing challenges related to access, sustainability and affordability of services, as well as in the water sector, by working on the strategic directions agreed to at the 2014 EU-Africa Summit to attain the Africa Water Vision by 2025, and in the ICT sector, the harmonisation and alignment of policies and regulatory frameworks, including cyber-security, safeguarding human rights and data protection.
-0- PANA AR/MA 8April2016

08 april 2016 09:02:37

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