President Jacob Zuma has today, 28 November 2017, arrived in Abidjan in the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire to attend the Fifth Summit of the African Union-European Union, which is scheduled to take place from 29 to 30 November 2017.
The Summit which is held under the theme: "Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in Youth", will emphasise the importance of the youth in the two regions' socio-economic development programmes.
The Summit is also expected to focus on supporting the objectives of the African Union's Agenda 2063 and its flagship projects. It is further expected that the Summit will adopt Joint Priority Projects for the period 2018 to 2022 that would focus on mobilising investments for Africa's structural transformation, human capacity development, including capacitating the youth, and on addressing peace and security, ensuring good governance and creating resilient societies.
President Zuma said South Africa views the summit as providing an opportunity to strongly emphasize the need to change the nature of the relations between the AU and EU from a post-colonial model of dependency to a new partnership of interdependence that addresses Africa's development challenges and contributes to shared prosperity between the two regions.
"It is also an opportunity to promote the importance of the African peace and security architecture and a need for Africa's partners to recognize and respect that the resolution of conflict situations in Africa is primarily the responsibility of the African Union supported by the UN Security Council," said President Zuma.
At a national level, South Africa wishes to further use the Summit to give new impetus to the South Africa-EU Strategic Partnership, specifically since it is the 10th Anniversary of the partnership. In this regard, the summit will further provide an opportunity for South Africa to enhance strategic economic and diplomatic relations through various engagements in the Summit, and in the side events such as Business Forum and Youth Summit with a focus on inclusive economic growth, youth employment and entrepreneurship.
The summit will further discuss issues of mutual concern that affect the two regions including enhancing economic opportunities for youth, mobility and migration, trade and investment, cooperation on peace and security as well as cooperation on governance between the two regions.
Issued by: The Presidency