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Europe’s relations with Africa are going through a period of radical change, reflecting the continents’ contrasting demographic trends and the need to improve Africa’s environment for trade and business.
The Friends of Europe Africa Summit on 4 June 2018 addressed a wide range of topics, including education, trade and entrepreneurship. It followed an EU-Africa Summit held in Abidjan in November 2017, which focused on building more resilient states and societies and creating more and better jobs. Europeans want to engage African governments on migration, governance, development and security challenges.
Meanwhile, Agenda 2063, adopted by the African Union in 2013, set out the vision of “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the international arena”. However, the Agenda says little about what Africans want from their partnership with Europe, and the voice of African civil society representatives – including business leaders, parliamentarians, local authorities, young people and women – is often drowned out by European interlocuters and African officials. Their views are of key importance, however, if Africa-Europe relations are to thrive in a rapidly-transforming world.