The 6th Summit between the European Union and the African Union is about to start here in Brussels. The heads of state and government of both continents meet for two days to discuss the future of their partnership, trade, investment, education and agriculture. However, almost five years after they last met, the world has changed: the pandemic and the worsening effects of climate change will play a major role.
Increasing prosperity is the key goal pursued by African and European leaders as they craft their shared vision for 2030. African Union President Macky Sall outlined the partnership during a visit to Senegal by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. "The common goal of Africans and Europeans for this summit is to achieve a renewed, modernized and more action-oriented partnership."
More money for Africa
The European Union wants to invest 150 billion euros in Africa to promote the green and digital transition, job creation, health and education. EU Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen outlines the future:
_"There will be grants and also loans. We hope that the private sector will also contribute. The idea behind this is to create a concrete, tangible project."_
Wide range of projects in Africa
These projects in Africa range from green energy production to infrastructure and vaccine facilities. Congo is a key player in relations between Africa and Europe. The country has a large and young population as well as enormous natural resources. But more needs to be done to fully realize this potential, argues this analyst:
"European technologies and European know-how are used in Africa without training the local population and without any technology transfer on the ground," says Anafak Japhet, Professor of International Relations at the University of Yaoundé. "Congo's success depends on two things: technology transfer and leadership development."
The development of local industries and technologies is also at the heart of Africa's vision for the years to come: not only will this bring benefits to the local population, but it will also improve the continent's relations with the rest of the world.