16 October 2017

Africa: Retreat of the African Union Executive Council to Prepare for the 5th AU-EU Summit

press release

THE AFRICAN UNION EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEETS AHEAD OF THE 5th AU-EU SUMMIT

Addis Ababa, 16 October 2017 - The African Union (AU) Executive Council held an extraordinary meeting today 16 October 2017, at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa to accelerate consultations ahead of the 5th African Union (AU) - European Union (EU) Summit to be held in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire on 29 and 30 November 2017. The meeting is aimed at exchanging views to have a common AU position during the upcoming AU-EU Summit.

The Chairperson of the AU Commission, H.E. Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, in his opening remarks, expressed his appreciation for the commitment that the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of AU Member States have continued to show in the implementation of the AU's development Agenda 2063. He highlighted that the upcoming AU-EU Summit which will focus on how to Youth development among others, will happen at a crucial moment in the history of the African Union-European Union Partnership, when the AU is embarking on reforms seeking to review and reflect on its strategic partnerships, to make them more relevant and responsive to the needs of the African citizenry.

The AUC Chairperson, further noted that the summit will be of great importance because it will discuss the AU theme of the year: "Harnessing the Demographic Dividend Through Investments in the Youth". Therefore touching on the larger part of the African citizens given that the Youth represents over 60% of the population in the continent. He stated that "the African Union has recognized the urgent need to improve the current state of Africa's youth, any action (or inaction) taken today, with regard to youth development and empowerment, will have a huge impact on Africa's future prospects."

Chairperson Moussa Faki stressed the need for a structural reorganization of the AU as well as a rationalization of its methods of work and a redefinition of AU-EU partnership including the partnership between the AU and the rest of the world, emphasizing on a partnership based on mutual respect, equality, freedom and solidarity. He reiterated his full support for the general consensus within the African part to limit commitments to a number of priority areas including: Education, training and skills development; Governance, peace and security; and Resilience and investment mobilization. (See complete speech of the AUC Chairperson on the AU website: www.au.int )

The Chair of the Executive Council, H.E Mr. Mamadi Toure, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Guinea, underscored the importance of the strategic partnership with the EU and the opportunity presented to evaluate approaches to better align the internal strategies with the AU's priorities embedded in Agenda 2063 and its Ten Years Implementation Plan.

Minister Mama Toure further urged the Ministers to ensure that the interest of Africa is taken into account for the improvement of the lives of its population so as to build "the Africa we Want" by 2063. He also emphasized the importance to use this partnership to promote the image of an Africa that is peaceful, prosperous and unified.

Note to Editors

The African Union (AU- European Union (EU) Strategic Partnership is the formal channel through which the European Union and the African continent work together. It is based on the Joint Africa-Europe Strategy adopted by Heads of State and Government at the second EU-Africa Summit in 2007. The current Roadmap 2014-2017 sets out concrete targets within 5 priority areas of cooperation agreed at the 4th EU-Africa Summit in 2014.

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