Euronews Debates: Can the EU & Africa reboot their relationship?

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As the 6th EU-Africa Summit approaches, few are questioning the need for a fundamental reset of relations – in particular after the turbulent events of the past few years.

But what precisely does that entail? The path ahead is by no means clear, when long-standing challenges in Africa such as food security and migration are compounded by today’s immediate global concerns of health and climate change.

Euronews has assembled a panel of experts to discuss exactly what needs to happen before a genuinely new era of Africa-EU relations can begin, moderated by Euronews’ Chris Burns.

You can watch the event live in this article on February 17.

They’ll be examining the effectiveness of the Africa-EU Partnership, after more than two decades of operating as the formal political channel through which the European Union and the African continents work together, and assessing whether it is working as well as it should to establish a shared vision for the future.

President Emmanuel Macron of France, who is hosting the summit, has emphasised his belief that to move forward, there needs to be a complete overhaul of the partnership between Africa and Europe.

Recently, he spoke of the desire to “establish a genuine system of peace and prosperity to build investments in African economies and build [a] shared future,” with the aim of “reforging an economic and financial New Deal with Africa.” He acknowledged that relations between the continents were “tired’.

Some might describe the state of affairs in stronger terms. Of many points of tension between Africa and Europe that urgently need resolving, perhaps the most critical in today’s climate are access to Covid 19 vaccinations, people trafficking in the Mediterranean and sustainable energy strategies. All need immediate attention and a renewed spirit of cooperation to resolve.

Underpinning these issues is the concern felt by policymakers on both sides that a traditional ‘donor-recipient’ mindset persists, despite being outdated and detrimental to all parties. In other words, it’s clear the dynamic between the two continents needs to change.

The panellists will be also addressing many of the key issues that impact the future of Africa and the EU, including sustainable development, security, energy, education and economic integration. How can mutually beneficial business partnerships be helped flourish? What needs to be put in place for the digital transformation of key industries? What’s the best way to prevent ‘brain-drain’ in Africa?

Our panellists will be discussing these key questions and other pressing issues. Audience members will also have the chance to put their own questions to the panel in a Q&A session at the close of the debate.

Joining the debate are:

Dr Carlos Lopes African Development Economist and Honorary professor at Nelson Mandela School of Governance at UCT

Colin Coleman Former CEO Goldman Sachs, Former Senior Fellow and Lecturer

Ronak Gopaldas Director, Signal Risk – Plan B

Luisa Santos Head of International Relations at Business Europe

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