Investing in Youth for Accelerated Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development
We, the Heads of State and Government of Member States of the African Union (AU) and European Union (EU), the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission, meeting in Abidjan on 29-30 November 2017 on the occasion of our fifth African Union (AU) - European Union (EU) Summit, reaffirm that the Joint Strategy adopted ten years ago at the Lisbon Summit remains the Framework for our Partnership. We recall our commitments made at the 4th European Union-Africa Summit held in Brussels in April 2014 and the 2014-2017 roadmap, based on the principles of mutual trust, sovereign equality, integrity and interdependence;
We strongly commit to work jointly under the agreed theme of the Summit: “Investing in Youth for Accelerated Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development” with the objective of bringing concrete benefits to our young populations and future generations. Investing in youth is a prerequisite for building a sustainable future. It is a high priority to provide young people with the skills and opportunities they need through the mobilization of smart and targeted investments; We agree to empower young people, both girls and boys, as well as women, to participate in political, economic and social life, on equal terms, to their full potential;
We emphasize our common interest and opportunity for a paradigm shift to an even stronger, mutually beneficial partnership in the spirit of shared ownership, responsibility, reciprocity, respect and mutual accountability and transparency. As two Unions, we support regional unity, integration and speaking with One Voice in the management and implementation of this partnership, in which the regional Economic Communities have their place. We commit to stronger mutual engagement and a more coordinated approach to ensure effective multilateralism, including through stronger AU-EU cooperation at the UN and other international institutions. We will also strengthen AU-EU-UN trilateral cooperation;
We affirm our commitment to uphold the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States to reject unconstitutional change of government as well as interferences in the domestic political processes by external forces, taking into account the African Union Constitutive Act, the EU Lisbon treaty, and the UN charter.
We take note of the pre-Summit events that were organised by youth representatives, business, civil society organisations, local authorities, economic and social actors and the Panafrican and European Parliament.
Growth, investment, Infrastructure and skills
We acknowledge that creating sufficient quality jobs that enable youth to enjoy decent livelihoods is important for their empowerment and sustainable development at large, and all the more so in light of demographic developments. We will increase joint efforts to advance economic transformation and sustainable development. We agree on the urgent need to boost efforts towards improving investment and business climate as well as towards unlocking and increasing responsible and sustainable African and European investments. To that effect we welcome the launch of the European External Investment Plan and the G20 Africa Partnership that will contribute to financing and promote private sector investment in Africa. We will promote intra-African trade, advance greater economic integration and support the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) and the implementation of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) to create the regional infrastructure necessary for continental interconnection. We note the fourth industrial revolution and its consequences impact on economies, including unlocking the potential of the digital economy for Africa and Europe in the creation of jobs, skills and economic development for the youth. Quality jobs require skilled people. We will deepen our collaboration and exchange in education, technology development, knowledge, skills, research and in development to respond effectively to the specific needs of our economies and launch innovative actions in the fields of Scientific, Technical and Vocational Education and Training and, youth employment and entrepreneurship, aiming at increasing the employability of young people.
Resilience, peace and security
We acknowledge that Africa and EU have common security threats. New threats to international and regional peace and security have an impact on the stability of our two continents, particularly the growing terrorist threats and trans-boundary criminal activities. In this regard, we recognise the need to strengthen the relationship between the AU and EU and agree on the principle of developing as soon as possible a framework document, which will put our partnership on peace and security on a more solid and structured basis, taking into account the complexity of these threats and the need to address their root causes;
We reiterate our commitment to the implementation of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). We acknowledge the successful deployment of African peace support operations as well as EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions. Ongoing AU reform efforts and actions to secure predictable and sustainable financing are important stepping stones to strengthen this process;
We reaffirm the importance of support for AU peace operations authorized by the UN Security Council, including the possibility of utilizing UN assessed contributions for AU mandated peace support operations authorized by the UN Security Council. We welcome the commitment by Africa to contribute towards the Peace Fund. We acknowledge and underline the importance of continued support by the EU to African peace and security activities. We also recognize the role of African Regional Organizations in peace and security. We will support the active role of youth and women in prevention, management and mediation of conflicts, in line with the AU and UN agendas.
Migration and mobility
We aim to promote a positive, and constructive and multidimensional approach to migration that takes place in a safe, orderly and regular manner. Taking into account and complementing existing dialogues and frameworks, we commit to deepen our cooperation and dialogue on migration and mobility in a strengthened and regular manner between Africa and Europe. We express our strong political commitment to address the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement. We stress the importance of effectively managing irregular migration in a spirit of genuine partnership and shared responsibility, in full respect of national law, international law and human rights obligations to maximise the development potential for both Africa and Europe.
We welcome progress in the respect for democratic principles, human rights, rule of law and good governance. The integrity of elections, abiding by national constitutions, are important democratic parameters. We recognize the need to increase confidence in democratic processes and will pursue our cooperation on effective, inclusive and accountable governance at all levels and on combatting corruption. We recognize that our civil society, media and democratic institutions have an important role to play;
Good governance is also critical role in creating an enabling environment for attracting investments, therefore we are determined to strengthen the mobilization and effective use of domestic resources as agreed in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. We commend the efforts of AU Member States in promoting domestic resources mobilization and better management for Africa’s sustainable development.
Climate change and natural resources management
We are committed to the full implementation of the Paris Agreement and Marrakech Action Plan adopted in COP22, taking into account the commitments on climate finance made in Copenhagen (2009) with a target of reaching USD 100 billion per year by 2020, to support developing countries in responding to climate change. We also commit to invest in climate change mitigation and adaptation, disaster risk management and reduction, as well as in the sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems. To this end, we commit to undertaking joint efforts, also at the global level. We note the importance of energy efficiency and the development of renewable energy, and we will support the African Initiative on Renewable Energy (AREI) and deepen our strategic alliance through the AU-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP).
For the period leading up to the next Summit our strategic priorities will be:
• Investing in people – education, science, technology and skills development;
• Strengthening Resilience, Peace, Security and Governance;
• Migration and mobility
• Mobilizing Investments for African structural sustainable transformation
We will build on the results already achieved by our partnership since 2007. We note the important policies developed since then: the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the principle of leaving no one behind, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, the AU 2063 agenda, the Nairobi Outcome document on development effectiveness as well as the EU's Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy and the new European Consensus on Development. They will all guide our future work and we express our commitment to their effective implementation. We will also build on these as well on the principles and values of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement among others, in any upcoming negotiations and conclusion of a successor framework to this agreement. This is a unique opportunity to put the relationship between Africa and Europe on an enlarged footing and developing a deeper level of partnership radiating onto the global arena;
We commit to implement the agreed provision stipulated under the elaborated joint strategic priority areas, as below.
Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Mechanisms
We strongly commit to mobilize financial and technical resources to support the joint priority projects for using appropriately integrated instruments and mechanisms in the context of the unique relationship between Africa and EU, notably in terms of trade, investment, development and peace and security.
We note and encourage the efforts by EU Member States to collectively achieve the target of 0.7% of GNI to be devoted to Official Development Assistance. We note and encourage efforts by AU Member States to follow up on the African Union Summit Decision of introducing a levy of 0.2% on eligible imports for the financing of the Union. We further welcome increased domestic revenue efforts;
We reiterate our determination to give a new impetus to our Partnership through the establishment of effective and inclusive joint mechanisms and structures, which include annual Joint Ministerial meetings;
We request the two Commissions to develop an action plan, within three months of adoption of this declaration, which would involve them holding working level meetings to identify projects and programs within the AU-EU Joint Priority areas of cooperation that both sides agree to implement, and to establish a joint follow-up mechanism.
We will meet again at our Sixth Summit in an European Union country;
We express our profound gratitude to the President of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, His Excellency Mr. Alassane Ouattara, and to the Ivorian Government and people for the warm reception, hospitality and excellent organisation of the 5th African Union – European Union Summit.
JOINT STRATEGIC PRIORITY AREA ONE (1)
Investing in people – education, science, technology and skills development
We acknowledge the importance of youth, especially girls and young women, and those in fragile environments, to have access to the knowledge and skills that are necessary to enable them to be active citizens in their countries, building notably on the implementation of the AU Roadmap on Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investment in Youth. We agree on the importance of youth entrepreneurship, to better link education and skills to employment, and to unlock the potential offered by research and innovation, and by technological development and the digital economy;
We agree to increase our efforts in both urban and rural areas to ensure universal, inclusive, and equitable access to quality education at all levels, from pre-school to higher education, for all children and youth, especially girls;
We underscore the importance of complementing education with the delivery of comprehensive health services, including access to sexual and reproductive health, as well as promotion of well-being of young people to maximize the potential of large youth populations;
We agree to support employability (including self-employment) and therefore call for the enhanced relevance and quality of education and skills training that equips learners, including women and girls, with the appropriate and dynamic skills, competencies and behaviours that match the current and future needs and opportunities of the labour market;
We support, in this regard, concrete initiatives in terms of recognition of qualifications, partnerships between institutions and mobility of young students, staff and researchers, in particular women and girls, and foster partnership between institutions, in order to develop and transfer knowledge and technology and to strengthen the ties between the two continents;
We also agree to develop innovative actions in the fields of Scientific, Technical and Vocational Education and Training, work-based learning, and youth non-formal learning, including by bringing together successful initiatives on both continents and by partnering with the private sector, including the tertiary sector;
We agree to increase our efforts in research and innovation for sustainable development, including through the launch of a partnership on climate change and sustainable energy, and to deepen collaboration between researchers and innovators on our two continents;
We recognize culture as a powerful tool to build bridges between people, notably the young, and an engine for sustainable economic and social development. We will promote policies to support intercultural dialogue as well as emerging and innovative arts and cultural production, while promoting and preserving all art forms in their respective societies. We will support young people working in creative industries;
We support partnerships of stakeholders in the labour market with focus on sound industrial relations and social dialogue, as means for quality jobs and increased productivity, and by extension to greater equality and inclusive growth.
JOINT STRATEGIC PRIORITY AREA TWO (2)
Strengthening Resilience, Peace, Security and Governance
We recognize that resilience, peace, security and governance are intimately linked and we strive to capitalize on the nexus between them;
We will strengthen our preparedness to detect, prevent and respond to disease outbreaks and other threats– such as antimicrobial resistance – in particular through supporting the Africa Centre for Disease Control, strengthening health systems, building capacity for emergency preparedness and response and supporting sanitation and provision of clean water;
We will jointly work on implementing an integrated approach to violent conflict and crises, including to taking into consideration the humanitarian-development nexus. We take note of the establishment and operationalization of the African Humanitarian Agency adopted by decision no. Assembly/AU/Dec.604(XXVI), drawing on all positive experiences, including those of the EU;
We agree to undertake efforts to halt and reverse environmental degradation, which has potentially significant implications for sustainable development, including related to security and migration, and for enhancing adaptive capacity to the adverse impacts of climate change and related shocks, and increase resilience to environmental degradation, desertification, health threats and humanitarian crises, and increase resilience by addressing drivers of vulnerability. We will foster the use of space-based technologies and information such as the European Earth Observation Programme Copernicus to inform and the GMES – Africa;
We recognise climate change as one of the most pressing threats to the achievement of sustainable development globally. We are committed to the full implementation of the Paris Agreement, and as partners in UNFCCC will continue enhancing resilience to the impacts of climate change and pursue low-carbon, climate resilient in all areas of our partnership;
We commit to address illegal exploitation of natural resources and wildlife trafficking as well as promote sound and sustainable natural resources management;
We will promote the integration and mainstreaming of climate change considerations and sustainable natural resources management into our policies and actions, notably conflict prevention, mediation and peacebuilding processes. We will build on important initiatives, such as the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and conflict prevention and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
B. Peace and Security
We will maintain peace and security at the heart of our partnership for sustainable development, prosperity and resilience of societies. We support Africa’s ambitious agenda to "silence the guns by 2020". Therefore, we maintain the focus on people and on strengthening human security. We recognise that young people often constitute the majority of the population of countries affected by armed conflict;
The aim of our partnership is to strengthen dialogue and institutional cooperation. In doing so we resolve to support the implementation of “African solutions for African problems”, as envisioned by the African Union's Agenda 2063, and which prioritises Africa's aspiration to a peaceful and secure continent;
We acknowledge the fruitful cooperation between the AU and the EU that helps to enable the full operationalization of the African Peace and Security Architecture;
We acknowledge the successful deployment of peace support operations by the AU as well as EU missions, and welcome the contribution by African and European States to UN peace operations. We underscore the importance of sustainable and predictable financing for AU peace support operations. We pay tribute to those who lost their lives in fighting to preserve peace;
We will take resolute and coordinated initiatives to address the root causes of violent conflicts and crises, including by working together with the UN and members of the International Community to ensure funding for the AU Peace Fund;
We will promote and intensify exchanges, expertise, capacity building and experience sharing in the fight against terrorism, violent extremism and radicalization, in all its forms including financial and operational support to terrorist organizations and groups, financing of terrorism, and support the ongoing efforts to combat terrorism, including the support to the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) as well as the joint force of the G5 Sahel and AMISOM;
We will strongly promote coordinated regional inter-regional and global initiatives in the field of prevention of conflict and crises, mediation and preventive diplomacy and post conflict reconstruction and development;
We will strengthen our cooperation and partnership, including through consultations between our two neighbouring continents, to address other peace and security challenges that are, inter alia illicit drugs trafficking and production and consumption, mercenaries, child soldiers, trafficking of human beings and weapons, proliferation and use of illicit weapons, illegal exploitation and unsustainable management of natural resources, impact of climate change, maritime insecurity and other challenges and internal tensions;
We will also promote the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) and the Youth, Peace and Security agendas and increase the active role of youth and women in the prevention and resolution of conflict, peacebuilding and peacekeeping in line with the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions as well as AU and EU policies and decisions.
We support the African Union aspiration and commitment to promoting democratic governance and human rights via the framework of the African Governance Architecture (AGA), enhancing the links between AGA and the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA);
We will actively promote accountable, transparent, inclusive and responsive governance in conformity with the relevant international instruments. This also with the view of attracting and protecting investments and providing a reliable framework for entrepreneurship;
We are committed to a people centred partnership where citizens, especially youth and women and other stakeholders of the partnership actively participate in social, economic and political development and where institutions are accountable, inclusive and transparent, also with respect to delivering effective and efficient public services, including a continued strengthening of Digital Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) and a right to issuance of birth certificates according to applicable national laws, as an indispensable requirement for creating sustainable and resilient societies. In that regard wider employment of eGovernance solutions shall be pursued;
We recognise the important role that local administration plays, and the need to strengthen its capacity and develop tools that can help them in this regard, while improving coordination between the local, regional and national levels, within mandates and in full respect of national governance systems;
We are committed to mutually respectful, constructive and equal political dialogue on equal footing aimed at enhancing democracy, good governance and human rights in line with the provisions of the UN Charter, the African Union Constitutive Act and related AU Governance frameworks and the EU Lisbon Treaty;
We will work together to ensure that the implementation of the 10-year Action Plan of the African Human and Peoples’ Rights Decade is a success;
We confirm our commitment to the full and effective implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), the outcomes of their review conferences. We also remain committed to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights in conformity with SDG (5), national laws, and, for Africa, the Maputo Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women (Maputo Protocol). In this context, we further reaffirm our commitment to achieving gender equality, reducing inequalities, and building peaceful and inclusive societies.
We underscore our rejection of impunity, and reiterate our commitment to fighting it at the national, regional and international levels. We undertake to enhance political dialogue on international criminal justice, including the issue of universal jurisdiction, in the agreed fora between the two parties;
We recognise the need to increase confidence in democratic processes and will pursue our significant cooperation on election observation, and our dialogue on a wide range of topics related to democratic governance in both continents, with a particular focus on the role of youth;
We commit to joining efforts to combat corruption in the private and public sectors in our two continents, and promote international cooperation in line with the current internationally agreed standards to combat illicit financial flows and tax avoidance and evasion, and strengthen asset recovery, in order to foster sustainable development, particularly in light of the declaration by the Assembly of the African Union of 2018 as the year of “Winning the Fight Against Corruption: A Sustainable Path for Africa’s Transformation;
We are determined to further strengthening the mobilisation and effective use of domestic resources as agreed in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. We support the principles of the Addis Tax Initiative and we encourage AU and EU Member States to join it. We note and encourage the efforts by EU Member States collectively to achieve the target of 0.7% of GNI to be devoted to Official Development Assistance as an essential source of development finance for Africa under the Financing for Development agenda;
We shall promote corporate social responsibility and responsible business conduct by national and multinational corporations in accordance with international standards, such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
JOINT STRATEGIC PRIORITY AREA THREE (3)
Mobilising investments for African structural transformation
We express our strong and unambiguous political will to boost joint efforts to advance economic transformation and development, with the objective of creating inclusive and sustainable growth and more and better jobs, especially for youth and women, in respect of internationally agreed labour standards and decent working conditions;
We commit to promoting responsible and sustainable public and private capital, and to that effect we welcome the launch of the European External Investment Plan, as an integral financing mechanism to crowd in investments from financial institutions and the private sector, which will complement other similar de-risking instruments. This will focus on value-adding, human investment and skills sectors with the highest potential for sustainable job creation and low-emissions climate resilient and sustainable development, such as agriculture, agro-business, manufacturing, the ocean economy, the circular economy, sustainable energy and digitalization, thereby assisting African countries to implement their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement;
We also fully acknowledge that there is a need to make greater efforts to establish the right business framework to attract responsible and sustainable investment. We will foster our effort for entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized enterprises, and start-ups, including a particular focus on women, including ecosystem builders in Africa, in line with the Strategy for Accelerated Industrial Development in Africa (AIDA) and the First Five Year Priority Programme on Employment, Poverty Eradication and Inclusive Development (2016-2020);
We will seize the opportunities of technological development and the digital economy, notably by exchanging on measurable ICT policy, legal and regulatory frameworks including cyber-security and biometrics, by supporting investments in digital infrastructure, and mainstreaming digitalization as an enabler to increase efficiency and effectiveness of interventions in all sectors;
We will foster European and Africa business relations, notably by establishing a structured dialogue with the European and African private sector and further strengthening mutually beneficiary EU-Africa trade relations. In particular, we will ensure that AU-EU Trade arrangements are complementary and supportive to the African Union trade and structural transformation agenda especially now as it gears towards implementing a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA);
We will continue to promote intra-Africa trade and advance greater economic integration, notably by further developing sustainable connectivity, building on the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), NEPAD programmes and the AU Agenda 2063 flagship projects, NEPAD Presidential Infrastructure Champion Initiative (PICI). We will also continue to promote the full implementation of the 1999 Yamoussoukro Decision with a view to establishing and strengthening a single Africa Air Transport Market;
We commit to deliver on the implementation of the African Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI), including by supporting the deepening of the partnership between the European and African private sectors, as well as the engagement of the public and private sectors of both continents in order to boost investment in sustainable energy generation and energy access in Africa in both urban and rural areas;
We commit to support the AU Business Plan for Implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP)-Malabo Declaration 2017-2021 and other broad areas of agreements as obtained in the AU-EU Agriculture ministers’ conference of July 2017 in order to promote Africa’s agricultural production and productivity, with due attention to the environmental and social dimensions of sustainability, as well as build agribusiness and agro value chains. We will work together to seize market opportunities for African food production and sustainable social and ecological livelihoods, notably through development of sustainable and fair value chains, and through the applicable EU Trade arrangements. To this end, we will build capacities to access to markets focusing on young farmers, small holders and family farmers, support partnership frameworks, strengthen AU-EU agriculture business relations through an AU-EU Agribusiness platform and promote the full implementation of EPAs. In addition, we will enhance vocational training and education in sustainable agriculture and agri-food entrepreneurial activities, as well as support the implementation of the AU Continental Strategy to develop Geographical Indications (GI) in Africa;
We will improve maritime knowledge and the development of the sustainable blue economy, in line with the 2050 Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy (2050 AIM Strategy).
JOINT STRATEGIC PRIORITY AREA FOUR (4)
Migration and Mobility
We recognize that the 2016 New York UN Declaration for Refugees and Migrants provides a good political framework for addressing large movements of refugees and migrants, and we reiterate our shared commitment to working towards the development of robust, balanced and inclusive Global Compacts on Migration and Refugees which further strengthen cooperation among countries of origin, transit and destination;
We express our strong political commitment to address the root causes of irregular migration and effectively manage migration in a spirit of genuine partnership, joint responsibility and in full respect of international laws and obligations and human rights, to maximise the development potential for both Africa and Europe. Special attention will be paid to the involvement of young migrants and the diaspora;
Taking into account and complementing existing dialogues (namely the Joint Valletta Action Plan, and Rabat and Khartoum Processes, and the AU Horn of Africa Initiative on Human Trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants), we commit to deepening our cooperation and dialogue on migration and mobility by developing a joint framework on for a strengthened continental dialogue on migration and mobility;
We stress that we need to prevent hazardous journeys and save lives by countering migrant smuggling and trafficking of human beings and deterring irregular migration – addressing the particular vulnerability of women, youth, and children, including those unaccompanied or separated from their families;
We emphasise that more needs to be done to further develop pathways for regular migration opportunities including labour migration (including through the joint Labour Migration Programme) and the mobility of entrepreneurs, students and researchers; Additional efforts are needed to address the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement. We underline the importance of working jointly and swiftly on all aspects linked to irregular migration, in accordance with international law, the AU Constitutive Act, its regulations and instruments, including return, readmission and reintegration of own nationals in accordance with international law and standards, the principle of non-refoulement and applicable due international legal processes. We agree to give preference to voluntary return and reaffirm that all returns must be carried out in full respect of human rights and human dignity.
We restate our shared commitment to provide assistance to those fleeing conflict and persecution, including IDPs, and recognise that the vast majority of African refugees are hosted on the African continent. We will continue our efforts to provide protection in line with international standards, to create opportunities for refugees and host communities and to find sustainable solutions. We will continue to lend support to the implementation of the comprehensive refugee response framework (CRRF);
We agree to further support the African Institute for Remittances (AIR), as a focal point for all stakeholders in African remittances, and a hub through which technical assistance and capacity building regarding remittances would be provided to African Union Member States’ organisations, as well as continue promoting cheaper, safer, legally-compliant and faster transfers of remittances and facilitate leveraging of remittances for productive domestic investments in Africa as well as social and economic development.
Cooperation on the Global Scene
In our endeavour to promote a rules-based global order with the United Nations at its core, we will work together to ensure an effective participation and an enhanced cooperation in international bodies including the United Nations, the G20, and all the multilateral institutions, and strengthen the high level policy dialogue to adopt a more coordinated approach and converging positions in international negotiations;
We will promote effective multilateralism and the AU-EU-UN trilateral cooperation being cognizant of the role of multilateral institutions in the field of peace and security, human rights and democracy, global governance and development. In this regard, we agree to pursue constructive cooperation and dialogue in the ongoing comprehensive institutional reforms of multilateral institutions, in particular the three strands of UN reform launched by the UN Secretary General, as well as the revitalisation of the United Nations General Assembly and the reform of the United Nations Security Council;
We commit to promote good governance in global Institutions to make them more accountable, representative, balanced, effective, inclusive, participatory and transparent;
We undertake to promote the dialogue of civilizations and tolerance as ingredients for global peace.