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Our Goals

The EU and Africa are committed to boosting economic transformation and sustainable development. The key objectives are to create inclusive and sustainable growth and more and better jobs, especially for youth and women. This includes: developing the private sector and small and medium-sized enterprises; attracting responsible and sustainable investments; supporting intra-African trade, continental economic integration and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), notably through the implementation of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA)creating regional infrastructure for continental interconnection through the External Investment Plan of the European Union, an integrated instrument aimed at mitigating risks; providing financing and technical assistance; and supporting policy dialogue on the investment climate. Focusing on the creation of jobs especially for young people, unlocking the potential of the digital economy and enhancing scientific, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) are also essential areas of cooperation.

Key areas of cooperation


Promoting responsible and sustainable public and private capital, driving skills and human development, and investing in areas with the highest potential for sustainable job creation and development, such as agriculture, agrobusiness, manufacturing, the ocean economy, the circular economy, sustainable energy and digitalisation.




Establishing the right business framework to attract responsible and sustainable investment. Fostering a postive environment for entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups, with particular focus on women; this is in line with the Strategy for Accelerated Industrial Development in Africa (AIDA).



The EU External Investment Plan (EIP) provides a framework to improve sustainable investments in Africa and the European Neighbourhood. It will support innovative financial instruments such as guarantees to boost private investment. With an input of EUR 4.1 billion from the EU, it will mobilise up to EUR 44 billion of investments.

The EIP focuses on priority investment areas that include: sustainable energy and sustainable connectivity; micro, small and medium enterprise financing; sustainable agriculture, rural entrepreneurs and agroindustry; sustainable cities and digitalisation for sustainable development.

With the aim of promoting and intensifying structured dialogue with the private sector, the EU has launched the 'Sustainable Business for Africa (SB4A) Platform'.


Engaging on measurable ICT policy and requisite legal and regulatory frameworks, including cybersecurity and biometrics, by supporting investments in digital infrastructure, and mainstreaming digitalisation to increase efficiency and effectiveness in all sectors.


  Establishing a structured dialogue with the European and African private sectors and further strengthening mutually beneficial EU-Africa trade relations is a key goal. The EU promotes the implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) and supports the African Union trade and structural transformation agenda; in particular the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). In partnership, the EU and AU promote intra-Africa trade and economic integration, notably by further developing sustainable connectivity, building on the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), NEPAD programmes and the AU Agenda 2063 flagship projects. The Africa-EU Partnership also continues to promote and strengthen a Single Africa Air Transport Market (SAATM).  


The EU has been supporting negotiations for an Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and has provided technical expertise and studies. The Pan-African Programme 2018-2020 will continue to support the AfCFTA negotiations and implementation with an investment of approximately EUR 50 million. 

Blending long-term loans with grant resources the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund, established in 2007, has awarded over 110 grants to infrastructure projects . The Africa Investment Facility (AfIF) expanded its mandate to cater for support to transport, communication, water and energy infrastructure, as well as agriculture and private sector development, in particular SMEs. In 2017, the AfIF, as the Africa Investment Platform (AIP), became an integral part of the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD), the first pillar of the EIP.    


Implementing the African Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) by supporting the deepening of the partnership between the European and African private sectors, as well as engagement of the public and private sectors of both continents in order to boost investment in sustainable energy generation and access in both urban and rural areas in African.



The Electrication financing initiative (ElectriFI) was launched in 2015 (during COP21) with the aim of supporting investments that increase access to modern, affordable and sustainable energy services, and promotes the adoption of renewable energy.




The EU and AU support the implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and other agreements to promote Africa’s agricultural production and productivity,  with due attention to environmental and social sustainability, as well as building and agro and agribusiness value chains. The EU and AU work together to support African food production and ecological livelihoods, through developing sustainable and fair value chains, improving access to markets, and focusing on young farmers and smallholders. The Africa-EU Partnership aims to strengthen AU-EU agriculture business relations and supports vocational training and education in sustainable agriculture and agrifood entrepreneurial activities. The EU and Africa strive to improve maritime knowledge and the development of the sustainable blue economy.


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