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Our goals

Under the joint strategic priority area 'Investing in people – education, science, technology and skills development', Africa and the EU acknowledge the importance of youth, especially girls and young women, and those living in disadvantaged or vulnerable environments. The key objectives of cooperation in this area are to: increase access to knowledge and skills; better link education and skills to employment; and unlock the potential offered by research, technology and innovation and the digital economy. The partnership between the EU and Africa builds notably on the implementation of the AU Roadmap on Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through investment in youth. 

Key areas of cooperation

The EU and Africa are committed to increasing efforts in both urban and rural areas to ensure universal, inclusive and equitable access to quality education at all levels, from pre-school to higher education, for all children and youth, and especially girls. Complementing education with the promotion of well-being and opportunities for young people, as well as the delivery of comprehensive health services, including sexual and reproductive services, are essential.


Digital4Development: Digitalisation can be a powerful tool to improve access and equity in education. Moreover, it can help to deliver quality learning and teaching, education management, governance and administration, as well as enhance the connectivity of institutions and the mobility of learners. EU higher education programmes support e-platforms, e-learning and virtual mobility, as well as a series of infrastructure networks projects, aiming at connecting research and education institutions, for example through AfricaConnect2.

Committed to support employability and access to decent work, the EU and AU collaborate to enhance the relevance and quality of education and training. The aim is to equip learners, including women and girls, with appropriate and dynamic skills and competencies that match the current and future needs and opportunities of the labour market. The EU and AU are committed to innovating in the fields of scientific, technical and vocational education and training, work-based learning, and non-formal learning by, for example, bringing together successful initiatives on both continents and through partnership with the private sector.

Convinced that mobility will facilitate knowledge and technology transfers and strengthen ties between the two continents, the Africa-EU Partnership supports initiatives through recognition of qualifications, partnerships between institutions and mobility of young students, staff and researchers, in particular women and girls.



Erasmus + provides funding to African students and university staff to facilitate mobility across the EU. For example, 2 545 African students and university staff are able to move across the EU under the new Erasmus+ international credit mobility action. Meanwhile, approximately 2 000 students across Africa received scholarships for Erasmus Mundus Master Courses, 65 African fellows have taken part in Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorates, and 230 African scholars have participated in teaching the Erasmus Mundus Master Courses.

The EU also supports the African Union Mwalimu Nyerere Scholarship Scheme, promoting the intra-Africa mobility of students.

Together, Africa and the EU aim to increase efforts in research and innovation for sustainable development, including through the launch of a partnership on climate change and sustainable energy, and to deepen collaboration between researchers and innovators on the two continents.



The EU Horizon 2020 programme for research and innovation reinforces cooperation between the African and European research communities by promoting African participation. During Horizon 2020's predecessor programme, FP7, from 2007-2013, the EU funded almost 600 cooperative projects involving European and African researchers working together on issues related to health, food security, climate change and energy, and some 1 300 participants from 45 African countries.
Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions provide grants for researchers and encourage transnational, inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary mobility.
The EU supports the African Union Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Awards for outstanding African scientists.

The Partnership promotes policies to support intercultural dialogue as well as emerging and innovative arts and cultural production while promoting and preserving all art forms in their respective societies.


Read the full Declaration of the 5th AU-EU Summit 

Read more on Financing the Partnership


Featured Partnership Projects and Initiatives

Click on an image below to discover examples of our actions contributing to this priority area. The cooperation between Africa and the EU exceeds this selection and takes place in many different frameworks.

Facts & Figures