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Under the Africa-EU partnership, the strategic objective of this area of cooperation between Africa and Europe is to stimulate economic growth that reduces poverty, to create decent jobs and mobilise the entrepreneurial potential of people, in particular the youth and women, in a sustainable manner. This includes support to the development of the private sector, small and medium-sized enterprises as well as support to the continental integration process, notably through accelerated infrastructure development, energy, industrialisation and investment.

Key areas of cooperation and specific objectives include:

  • Promotion of continental integration and trade as well as the engagement of the private sector as a key partner in development;
  • Engagement to develop an open, transparent and predictable investment climate;
  • Enhanced cooperation between European and African statistical systems in producing quality statistical service as decisions to invest or develop new policies need to be based on reliable and comparable data;
  • Strengthened cooperation on international tax matters to broaden domestic revenue mobilisation and tackle illicit financial flows, through increased cooperation in line with the principles of transparency, exchange of information and fair tax competition;
  • Reduction of transport costs and boosting of intra-African trade by bringing regional transport corridors to an adequate level of service, which is sustainable, safe and reliable;
  • Progress towards the 2020 targets of the Africa-EU cooperation on energy;
  • Sustainable and efficient management of water resources, through institutional strengthening and preparation for investment in multi-purpose water infrastructure;
  • Establishment of favourable conditions and enabling environments for ICT in the service of citizens, public authorities and businesses, especially SMEs;
  • Sustainable transformation and development of agriculture to create perspectives, jobs and income opportunities for small holders, especially rural youth and women, and creating jobs along the agricultural value chains by developing value-adding activities and agribusiness;
  • Development of effective joint approaches to nutrition targets as major components of resilience, by strengthening information systems and analytical tools that support the national policy decision making process;
  • Promotion of land governance frameworks that contribute to improved efficiency, equity and environmental stewardship;
  • Fostering an increase of fair, intra-regional, inter-regional and global trade in agricultural products;
  • Enhanced research on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture.

Selected activities and achievements

Investment and trade

  • EPA's negotiations with West and Southern Africa were concluded in July 2014 and with the East African Community in October 2014
  • 5 EU-Africa Business Forums (EABF) took place between 2006 and 2014. Since then, four EABF Follow-up Workshops have been held in Africa (Nairobi, Addis Ababa) and Europe (Brussels). The EU-Africa Business Forum (EABF) is an integral part of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) bringing the views of business to European and African leaders together on critical issues pertaining to both continents' relations.
  • A €6.8 million programme was launched in 2015 under the Pan African Programme to develop harmonised statistics at Pan-African level - including support to the creation of a Pan-African institute for statistics (StatAfric).
  • Adoption in 2015 of a €7.5 million EU support for the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (CTA), which consists of direct support to negotiations as well as technical expertise to the CFTA Support Unit and technical studies.


  • From 2011 to 2014, the EU committed more than € 2 billion to food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture in Africa.
  • In 2014, the continental and regional support to agriculture, through various programmes represented a total amount of commitment of €360 million in addition to the agricultural and food security programmes at country level.
  • For the period 2014-2020, more than 30 African EU Delegations have selected Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture as focal sector in their national indicative programme.
  • The EU has been supporting the InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) since the 1960's in promoting a sustainable livestock sector in Africa. Following a very successful campaign leading to the eradication of Rinderpest in Africa, the EU is continuing its cooperation through a number of programmes, such as the recently adopted 'Live 2 Africa' (€19M) strengthening systemic capacity of Livestock stakeholders at national, regional and continental level.
  • The EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) on STI is a long-term, jointly funded and managed partnership on research and innovation. The "Roadmap toward a jointly funded EU-Africa Research & Innovation Partnership with a focus on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture" has been adopted at the 3rd EU Africa HLPD Senior Officials' meeting, held in Addis Ababa in April 2016.
  • The second phase of the African Union Research Grants was adopted for an amount of €17.5 million under the Pan-African programme. It provides funding for the African Union Commission to organise calls for proposals for collaborative research projects with a focus on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture.


  • Major efforts have been made in the framework of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership, established in 2007. The AEEP is a long-term framework for strategic dialogue between Africa and the EU aimed at sharing knowledge, setting political priorities and developing joint programmes on the key energy issues and challenges.
  • By blending long term loans with grant resources, the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund established in 2007 has awarded over 110 grants to infrastructure projects representing a total value of over € 8.5 billion. The newly created Africa Investment Facility expands its mandate to cater for agriculture and private sector development, in particular SME's.
  • The ElectriFI financing initiative was launched in 2015 (during COP21) aiming at supporting electrification investments that will lead to new and improved connections, with strong features for scalability.
  • Since its launch in 2010, the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP) has been supporting African Government and regional organisations to develop their renewable energy markets. Various energy programmes are ongoing contributing to meeting the set 2020 targets of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership, for instance: Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP), Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF), Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), among others. For detailed information: AEEP Status report 2016.
  • A € 7 million programme, 'the EU-Africa Infrastructure Support Programme ', was launched in 2014 to contribute to the efficient and effective implementation of the JAES 2014-2017 infrastructure agenda in the domains of energy, water, transport and ICT. Its specific objectives are to ensure both horizontal and sectoral infrastructure coordination under one single entry point.
  • The EU is supporting with a € 8 million contribution the third phase of the Africa Transport Policy Program (SSATP), which is an international partnership that comprises notably 40 African countries, 8 Regional Economic Communities, the African Union Commission and public and private sector organizations,. Managed by the World Bank, the programme supports African countries policies and strategies to promote sustainable transport.