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Fifth African Union – European Union Summit kicks off at Senior Officials level

26 November 2017

Held under the theme "Investment in Youth for Accelerated Inclusive growth and sustainable development", the Fifth African Union - European Union (AU-EU) Summit scheduled for 29-30 November 2017 in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, commenced today with a pre-summit Senior Officials meeting attended by Ambassadors of the African Union Member States, high officials from the AU Commission and representatives from the European Union Member States.

Since the adoption of the joint Africa-EU Strategy in Lisbon ten years ago, the AU-EU Summit comes at an opportune moment to strengthen the political and economic ties between the two regions. The Summit will provide a platform for both parties to take stock of the achievements and challenges arising from the implementation of the priority areas stipulated in the Joint Strategic Partnership.

In his welcome remarks, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire to the European Union, H.E Abou Dosso, expressed the gratitude of President Alassane Ouattara and the people of Cote d’Ivoire to the African Union for organising the summit in Abidjan. He   said his country and Africa are proud to host the AU-EU summit which will strengthen the partnership between the two continents. He highlighted the importance of the summit in the development of the youth which is the AU theme for the year 2017.
The Representative of the European Union, Mr Koen Vervaeke, Managing Director Africa European External Action Service (EEAS) and Mr. Stefano Manservisi, European Commission’s Director General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO) both underlined the importance of the summit to the AU and EU Member States who are expected to take concrete commitments to help face the socio-economic and political challenges for the best interest of their respective populations.

Addressing the Senior Officials on behalf of the AU Commission, H.E Alex Ratebaye, Deputy Chief of Staff in the Bureau of the AUC Chairperson, congratulated the Government of Cote d’Ivoire for the logistics put in place to facilitate the holding of the AU-UE summit in Abidjan. He underscored the importance of the Senior Officials meeting saying that, it will help shape discussions on the various priory thematic issues during the summit, notably youths development, the fight against terrorism, good governance, and integration among others.  

The Chairperson of the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) , H.E Mrs.  Sidibe Fatouma KABA, who is also the Ambassador of the Republic of Guinea in Ethiopia and the AU, recalled the historical ties between Africa and Europe which explains why both continents interested to improve the living conditions of its population within the context of the AU-EU Strategic Partnership. She noted that, in line with the African Union Theme for 2017, “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend Through Investments in Youth,” and given that 60% of the African population is under the age of 25, the 5th AU-EU summit will focus on matters related to enhancing the opportunities for youth and bring concrete answers to the various initiatives and programmes that are aimed at fostering youth development in both continents.
Other priorities of the Africa-EU partnership to be discussed during the summit include:
•         Peace and Security
•         Governance including democracy, human rights, migration and mobility
•         Investment and Trade
•         Skills Development
•         Job Creation

African Union Commission



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