EU pillars for the new engagement with Africa – what’s in there for my business?

The EU finds itself at the crossroads rethinking its new engagement with the African continent. This one, 2020, is a crucial year. On the one hand, the EU hopes to endorse its new strategy with the African Union (AU) at the EU-AU summit to take place in October 2020. On the other, the EU needs to finalise and agree on its future long term budget (MFF 2021-2027) where funding will be allocated to support a wide range of different initiatives. These – according to the EC communication approved on 9 March 2020 "Towards a comprehensive Strategy with Africa" – are grouped in 5 different blocks and will form the basis for the the new EU-AU strategy: green transition; digital transformation; sustainable growth and jobs; peace and governance; and migration and mobility. Thererfore, it is expected that future EU funding support in Africa will address them. In this sense out of the ca. 90 BEUR proposed under the new Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) around 60% is supposed to be allocated to the African continent.

Here we offer a snapshot of concrete initiatives under the different blocks. Positioning your business with early intelligence around the different topics will help you secure revenue in the future thanks to EU and international donor funding.

  1. Green transition: providing access and local adaptation to technologies, a clean circular economy, green finance, on sustainable energy and energy efficiency through the launch of a 'Green Energy' initiative, external dimension of the recently proposed EU Green Deal.
  2. Digital transformation: developing a robust regulatory framework, in areas such as data and consumer protection, digital financial services, cybercrime and e-governance. Digitalisation of public administrations for the provision of e-services. Greater education and training opportunities.
  3. Sustainable growth and jobs: on top of the classical grant funding the External Action Guarantee could provide up to EUR 60 billion in guarantee operations as part of the European External Investment Plan. Platforms such as the Sustainable Business for Africa Platform and the International Platform on Sustainable Finance will be further supported.
  4. Peace and governance: The EU also proposes to support African capacity in defence and security, using the proposed European Peace Facility, its CSDP missions and security and defence-related tools to better address the challenges faced by African security and defence actors on the ground. AU and EU coordination on electoral observations will be further supported.
  5. Migration and mobility: Pursuing a 'whole-of-route' approach, working with countries of origin, transit and destination. A strong focus on improving migration governance, improved border management and a Continent-to-Continent Migration and Mobility Dialogue will be promoted.
New Circular Economy Action Plan
New Industrial Strategy for Europe

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