European Union-African Union Summit
The Sixth European Union-African Union Summit was held from 17th to 18th February 2022. This summit took place in Brussels, Belgium.
The event was scheduled for October 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was postponed. The summit was co-chaired by Charles Michel, President of the European Council, and Macky Sall, President of Senegal, who was also the Chairperson of the African Union at the time.
A study conducted by the European Union
Representatives from the European Union (EU) and the African Union (AU), as well as their member states, attended the event. Despite being Africa’s leading trade partner, the European Union is not seen as a major partner by African countries. This is according to a study which was done by the European Commission, with the United States and China ranking higher.
The organization of the summit was done to address some of these problems, as well as other matters such as African immigration to Europe and the European Union’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A side event was also organized on the importance of collaborative research and development to EU-Africa ties by the AERAP Africa-Europe Science Collaboration Platform.
A series of discussions were organized on
- vaccine production and health systems
- growth financing
- vocational training and culture, education, mobility and migration
- sustainable development and agriculture
- economic integration and private sector support
- security, peace, and governance
- digital and transport connectivity and infrastructure
- energy transition and climate change
The immediate task is ensuring that vaccines are distributed equally. EU and AU will work together for the allocation, procurement, and deployment methods for medical products. In association with the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) platform, the EU confirms its commitment to provide at least 450 million vaccine doses to Africa by mid-2022. Europe has contributed more than USD 3 billion to the Covax Facility and to immunization on the African continent, supporting the AVATT’s efforts.
For the continent to respond to future public health emergencies, the EU is committed to supporting African health sovereignty. Hence, the EU supports a common agenda for vaccines, medicines, diagnostics, therapeutics, and health products manufacturing in Africa, which includes investments in production capacity, voluntary technology transfers, and regulatory framework strengthening to ensure access to vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics.
The African Union and the European Union discussed the importance of the WTO’s contribution to the pandemic’s fight and the global economy’s recovery and decided to work constructively toward an agreement on a response to the pandemic, which includes trade and intellectual property issues.
The European Union has promised to fight illicit financial flows, address domestic tax base erosion and profit shifting, and work on tax transparency. The EU will also help the AU in its fight against money laundering, terrorism financing, and proliferation financing, the return of stolen funds and items from countries of origin.
The EU and AU will increase support for scientific collaboration between researchers in order to increase the knowledge together and share technology and experience. Through the Erasmus+ programme, the EU will promote exchanges of volunteers, young citizens, and students, as well as create university collaborations, in order to improve mutual understanding.