ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, February 11, 2014 – The African Union Commission and the European Commission have emphasized the need to make good use of their partnership in promoting common positions, especially as they are preparing for the Africa EU summit to take place in April in Brussels.
In a meeting held on 10th February at the African Union in Addis Ababa between the AUC Deputy Chairperson Mr Erastus Mwencha and the Deputy Director General of the Directorate General of Development Cooperation of the European Commission Mr Klaus Rudischhauser, the two Commissions agreed to promote any points of convergence in their post 2015 development agendas to defend their common interests. Mr Mwencha however outlined that Africa’s common post 2015 position will only be confirmed by the forthcoming high level meeting to be held in N’djamena, Chad at the end of this month. He also mentioned that the post 2015 agenda will be informed by Africa’s Agenda 2063, a common framework that is being drafted to guide the continent’s development for the next fifty years. This is in accordance with a decision of the AU Assembly held in January this year, which endorsed the articulation of the African development goals consistent with the existing continental frameworks and to serve as milestones for tracking and monitoring progress towards Agenda 2063.
In discussing the forthcoming Africa EU summit, Mr Mwencha and Mr Rudischhauser stressed the need to come up with an agenda and outcomes that Heads of States and Governments can agree on and sign up to. Generally, some of the critical areas identified were around infrastructure, energy, the green economy, trade, migration, peace and security, investment and the transformation of Africa.
Prior to the summit however, the two Commissions will jointly host an energy conference from the 12th to 13th February in Addis Ababa. Energy poverty is one of the biggest challenges for sustainable development in Africa. While the continent’s energy needs are growing substantially, the available resources are more than sufficient to meet the continent’s demand. The conference will therefore bring together African and European political and business leaders to review successes in the African energy sector and further deepen energy collaboration of the two continents. “This sector has a lot of promise for Africa’s future”, said Mr Mwencha, while Mr Rudischhauser said “Sustainable energy for us means focusing on Africa. We would like to step up cooperation with the AU on energy because we need overall coherence”.
The conference will take place under the aegis of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP), an established framework for energy cooperation between the two continents, offering a platform for dialogue and coordination of joint activities.
More information on the energy conference is available at http://www.aeep-conference.org or http://ie.au.int/en/content/second-high-level-meeting-africa-eu-energy-partnership-aeep