The European Commission has announced plans to strengthen its partnership with the African Union by providing sustainable investment and jobs on the continent.
In his 2018 State of the Union address, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced a new strategy entitled ‘Africa – Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs’ which will pursue the commitments made during a summit between the European Union and the African Union last November.
Namely, investment in job creation and sustainability will be priorities for the European Commission, and this will be achieved through numerous strategies, including:
- Boosting strategic investment to strengthen the private sector
- Investing in education and skills at national and continental level
- Delivering a package of financial resources, as outlined in the EU’s multi-annual financial framework
- Strengthen employability through exchange programmes and skills development
- Broadening the African continental free trade area, as a precursor to developing an EU-Africa free trade agreement
Ultimately, by strengthening the private sector across Africa, the EU hopes to promote economic growth and security, which will benefit both continents in their trade relationship.
What benefit will these new proposals deliver?
The European Commission expects that its efforts to deliver education and skills development will benefit some 750,000 people, while investment in renewable energy generation will benefit 30 million people, and funding for transport infrastructure will increase access for 24 million people. Funding programmes focused on SMEs alone will create some 3.2 million jobs, according to the EU’s predictions.
Commission High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: “[We] want a stronger Africa – with quality jobs for its youth, a better business climate, and peace and security for all… We are already strong political partners; the next step is to be true economic partners and deepen our trade and investment relationship. We want to give young people opportunities to achieve their aspirations. Boosting responsible investment in Africa is a win-win for both sides.”