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New EU support to governance, innovation and learning in Africa

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The European Commission has approved the second Annual Action Programme of its Pan-African Programme. Amounting to nearly 150 M€, a total of nine projects were launched on 25 November 2015 to address governance and human rights challenges as well as to support innovation and learning throughout the African Continent. Aiming at supporting Africa's integration agenda at continental level, the Pan-African Programme is the first ever EU cooperation instrument that covers the whole of Africa.

Addressing Africa governance and human rights challenges

The European Commission will provide funding for five continental wide projects totalling 95M€ to address governance and human rights challenges in Africa. These projects, meeting priorities identified in the Joint Africa-EU Strategy, have been designed to complement existing European Commission initiatives and those of partners active across Africa.

As key partner of the European Union, the African Union (AU) will benefit from the continuation of the EU's substantial support programme (45M€) to the AU institutions which started in 2007 and brings total support to the AU to 130M€. This third phase will assist the AU Commission and the other AU organs build their own capacity to effectively and efficiently implement their strategies and programmes and to contribute fully to the implementation of the Africa-EU Partnership.

The EU also intends to support an enhanced role of civil society organisations in the Partnership, in the dialogue with African institutions and in the implementation of initiatives aiming for security, governance, human rights and gender equality (20M€) . A further 10M€ will be provided to strengthen the African Human Rights System - to help give the weak a stronger voice and tackle discrimination and human rights violations. Women and girls will be a particular priority. An additional 5M€ is being allocated to the international effort to end female genital mutilation.

The Joint Africa-EU Strategy recognises the growing problem and negative effects of continental organised crime to Africa's development. To this end, a 15M€ project to enhance African capacity to respond more effectively to transnational organised crime has been developed.

Supporting innovation and learning to address Africa's challenges

The Africa-EU partnership gives special attention to cooperation in science, technology and innovation. Investment in this area has a potential multiplier effect on development in Africa and can lead to rapid gains, greatly enhance sustainable development, improve competitiveness and address pressing global challenges like climate change.

The European Commission will provide significant funding to the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) & Africa initiative (26.5M€). The aim of this project is to improve the capacity of African policy-makers and planners to promote sustainable management of natural resources through the use of Earth Observation data. The project will make use of the technology offered by the European Copernicus programme. In addition, the European Commission will fund a 10M€ project to advance geological knowledge and skills in Africa's mining sector as well as a 5M€ project to improve flight safety in Africa through EU satellite navigation system.

Finally, 10M€ of funding has been allocated to promote mobility in higher education in Africa. This programme aims to increase access to quality education that will encourage and enable African students to undertake postgraduate studies.  It will promote student retention in the region along with mobility of staff, while increasing the competitiveness and attractiveness of the institutions themselves and enhancing the political, educational and economical links between participating countries.


Established in 2014, the Pan-African Programme constitutes one of the main EU financial instruments for the implementation of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy. The programme is funded under the EU's Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) with a budget of €845 million for the period 2014-2020.

Aligned with the Roadmap 2014-2017, the Pan-African Programme focuses on five key areas of cooperation between Africa and the EU, namely:

  • Peace and Security
  • Democracy, good governance and human rights
  • Human development
  • Sustainable and inclusive development and growth and continental integration
  • Global and cross-cutting issues

In July 2014, the EU launched the first phase of the Pan-African Programme, which will fund projects for the period 2014-2017, with a total allocation of €415 million. In November 2014, the EU approved the first 12 projects, for a total amount of €107 million.

Overview table of projects of the 2015 Annual Action Programme

Project name EU contribution (Million EUR)
Enhancing African capacity to respond more effectively to Transnational Organised Crime 14.5
Strengthening the African Human Rights System 10
Engaging Civil Society in PanAfrican Issues 20
Contributing to the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting 5
Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme 10
Geological cooperation - Support to the EGS-OASG partnership 10
Satellite Navigation in Africa (EGNOS) 4.7
Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) 26.5
African Union Support Programme III (AUSP3) 45.15
Support measures 0.5
Total 146.35


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