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The Africa-Europe Alliance is a coherent economic strategy for EU-Africa relations. It defines job creation as the key target and African and European investments as the main vehicle, focusing on areas with the greatest potential for jobs and added-value creation.

The Alliance was launched in 2018 to deliver on the commitments taken at the 5th African Union-EU Summit in Abidjan, calling for strengthened economic and trade relations, through sustainable investment and job creation. 

The aim is to boost investments via actions along four interconnected strand, namely: 

  • Boosting strategic investment and strengthening the role of the private sector to create jobs 
  • Investing in people by investing in education and skills 
  • Strengthening business environment and investment climate
  • Tapping the full potential of economic integration and trade 

To support cooperation, four strategic sectoral Task Forces uniting African and European experts provide concrete recommendations in key areas.

Since its launch, Europe and Africa have entered a more dynamic and forward-looking partnership, one adapted to our new global reality. On 9 March 2020, the European Commission has adopted a new Joint Communication “Towards a  Comprehensive Strategy with Africa” aiming at taking forward our partnership with Africa.  The Africa-Europe Alliance has been translated in the economic pillar of the new Strategy.

Strands of Action

Strengthening business environment and investment climate
Boosting private sector investment requires an enabling investment climate and business environment, including macro-economic stability and open financial systems for increased private sector credit. Action is also needed to address broader governance issues, related to government institutions, rule of law, accountability and transparency. Peace, security and stability are key factors influencing investor decisions since the cost of setting up a business is higher in fragile states.
Investing in people by investing in education and skills
Africa has the youngest population of any region of the world and continues to experience strong demographic growth. Young people need access to education and skills to build their future. In order to boost investment and create jobs, these skills need to match with the demands of the labour market. Achieving this will require increasing investment, both from the EU and its Member States and from its African partners.
Tapping the full potential of economic integration and trade
Investments in value-adding sectors also require markets. Intra-Africa trade remains low despite significant growth potential. Economic integration and regional and continental level in Africa, as well as boosting trade relations with the EU are therefore essential components of a coherent economic strategy. Economic Partnership Agreements, Free Trade Agreements, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas, and other trade regimes with the EU should be exploited to the greatest extent, as building blocks to the benefit of the African Continental Free Trade Area. The long-term perspective is to create a comprehensive continent-to-continent free trade agreement between the EU and Africa.
Boosting strategic investment and strengthening the role of the private sector to create jobs
The private sector holds the largest potential for generating jobs and growth. It is therefore essential to boost responsible private investments — both domestic and foreign — in Africa. Africa’ s strong economic progress over the last two decades shows that there are substantial opportunities. At the same time, it is necessary to generate millions of new jobs, especially for young people entering the job market. Yet, in many African countries, instability and conflicts reduce the access to finance for much needed investment.

4 Task Forces - Working together in strategic areas

A key component of the Africa-Europe Alliance is close collaboration between both sides. Four strategic sectoral Task Forces bring together African and European partners on critical economic sectors to deepen cooperation and to propose concrete action. Click on the boxes to learn more about them.

Task Force Rural Africa (TFRA)
Digital Economy Task Force (DETF)
EU-Africa High Level Platform on Sustainable Energy Investments
Transport Task Force