Science and Technology cooperation between Africa and Europe

EU relations with Africa are governed through two agreements: the Cotonou agreement and the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) adopted in 2007. The JAES is the political framework steering relations with the whole African continent. It seeks to build a relationship between the EU and the African Union (AU) that is based on partnership, egalitarian relationships, shared objectives and mutual benefits and risks through developing a long term vision on how to ensure peace and security, faster socio-economic growth and sustainable development in Africa.

The EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) on Science, Technology and Innovation was adopted at the 2nd Africa-EU Summit in Tripoli in 2010 as an important element of the JAES. The dialogue serves as a platform for regular exchanges on research and innovation policy and aims to formulate and implement long-term priorities to strengthen Africa-Europe cooperation on science, technology and innovation. The dialogue is co-chaired by the European Union and the African Union and brings together the S&T representatives from the 27 EU Member States and the 55 African countries.

At the EU-Africa Summit 2014, a new framework of cooperation within the JAES called the roadmap was agreed upon. In this framework science, technology and innovation was defined as a cross-cutting objective throughout the five areas of cooperation. It outlines investments in STI as a vital tool to promote growth and employment, improve competitiveness and identify and address pressing global societal challenges such as climate change, affordable renewable energy and energy efficiency, infectious diseases or food and nutrition security. The FinCEAL Plus project has been designed to engage Finnish participation in the biregional policy dialogue and to promote Finnish involvement in addressing these challenges (see FinCEAL Plus Africa thematic focus areas).

Following the EU-Africa Summit in 2014 an EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) expert working group was set up to develop an input to a roadmap towards creating a long-term jointly financed Research and Innovation Partnership with a first focus on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture. The Expert working group "Roadmap towards a jointly funded EU-Africa Research & Innovation Partnership, with an initial focus on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture” was published in April 2015.

For more information, please visit the Africa-EU Partnership -website.

European Commission Resources:

The European Union supports research and development activities primarily through the Horizon 2020 Programme which has replaced the previous Framework programmes. 

Links:

African Union Resources:

The bi-regional strategic documents that define the Science and Technology cooperation between Africa and Europe acknowledge the African regional policy documents, such as Africa’s Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action (CPA) that was developed in 2005 by the African Union through the African Ministerial Council on Science and Technology (AMCOST). The CPA identifies the regional priorities and needs for research and cooperation, consolidating the science and technology programmes of the AU Commission (AUC) and the AU programme The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD). The most important AU resource for the science cooperation between Africa and Europe is the African Union Research Grant Programme.

AUC, NEPAD and AMCOST programmes and projects:

(Image attribution:irum)