Science and Technology cooperation between Africa and Europe

Science and Technology cooperation between Africa and Europe is based on political dialogue and policies that serve as a framework for the cooperation between the European Union and the African Union (AU). This Political relationship and the strategy for cooperation between the two regions are outlined in different bi-regional strategic documents, primarily the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) adopted in 2007. The JAES defines 8 areas for strategic partnership, including the 8th Africa-EU Partnership on Science, Information Society and Space.  The objectives and priorities set by these political partnerships are implemented through successive Action Plans which define the Priority Actions for each partnership. The Priority Actions of the 8th Partnership are to Support S&T Capacity Building for the implementation of Africa’s Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action; to support the development of an inclusive information society in Africa; and to enhance cooperation on space application and technology. To address some of these Priority Actions, 19 specific initiatives are identified in the Book of Lighthouse Projects


European Commission Resources:

The European Union supports research and development activities primarily through the Framework Programmes (FPs), which are proposed by the European Commission and adopted by the Council and the European Parliament.  FPs have been implemented since 1984 and cover a period of five years, with the last year of one FP and the first year of the following FP overlapping.  The current FP is FP7, which will end in 2013, to be replaced by Horizon 2020.  FP7 is open to participation from organizations or individuals outside the EU Member Statescandidates, and associated countries to include most of the world (International Cooperation Partner Countries).  


FP7 Projects:

  • CAAST-Net or the Network for the Coordination and Advancement of sub-Saharan Africa-EU Science & Technology Cooperation aims to increase the quality and quantity of bi-regional cooperation in science and technology between Europe and Africa, targeting areas of mutual interest and benefit. UniPID is a partner in this project

  • ERAfrica aims at promoting a unified European approach to collaborating with Africa in the field of science and technology research for innovation and sustainable development. The primary objective of ERAfrica is the creation of a "European Research Area Network” for the African continent. UniPID is involved in the project through the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy. 
  • The Mediterranean Innovation and Research Action, MIRA is an INCO-Net Coordination Action aims at developing a scientific and technological partnership between the European Union (EU) and the Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPC), by the use of dialogue platforms, identifying topics of common scientific interest, promoting the creation of an Observatory of EU-MPC scientific cooperation, and promoting the development of the Euro-Mediterranean Innovation Space and other join initiatives with a research component.
  • INCONTACT – One World builds upon the experience acquired during the first phase of the INCONTACT project that developed a cooperation platform for the National Contact Points for International Cooperation (INCO NCPs). The objective of this second phase is to establish a strong network of INCO NCPs as focal information point for all activities under FP7 with regard to Third Country participation, and acting as a facilitator for stakeholders and  International Cooperation Partner Countries’ (ICPC) participants
  • CPN-Africa is a network of Regional and Local Contact Points (RCPs and LCPs) in sub-Saharan Africa to attract young African scientists to participate in EU-funded poverty related disease research projects.
  • Coordination action for reinforcing the health national contact points network, HEALTH-NCP-NET aims to reinforce the network of National Contact Points (NCPs) for the health related research areas and the Health theme under the FP 7 by promoting trans-national cooperation. 
  • Environment NCPs cooperating to improve their effectiveness, ENV-NCP-TOGETHER aims to reinforce the cooperation between the people and institutions appointed as national contact points (NCP) for the theme Environment in FP 7.  
  • IST-Africa is focused on strengthening the research dimension of Information Society policy dialogues between the European Commission and African countries and key regional organisations; analysis of African ICT research priorities; and raising wider awareness of African research capacity. IST-Africa aims to increase visibility of mutual RTD potential and to network relevant European and African stakeholders.
  • EuroAfrica-ICT aims at encouraging African participation in EU-funded projects under ICT Theme, Supporting the implementation of the "8th Africa-EU Strategic Partnership” and the JEG8 activities, and building a community and connecting researchers to strengthen EU-African ICT collaborative research.

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)


UniPID is a partner in CAAST-Net, a network for the Coordination and Advancement of sub-Saharan Africa-EU Science and Technology Cooperation. This 5 year Africa-Europe platform undertakes many different activities dedicated to advancing cooperation in science and technology. 

For more information visit UniPID's CAAST-Net project page.  


UniPID is actively involved in ERAfrica, which is a 2 year ERA-Net project focused on strengthening national and regional EU-Africa science and technology collaboration and research. 

Visit UniPID's ERAfica page to find out more about the project's activities and UniPID's role.