Africa-Europe Foundation Forum

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Africa-Europe Foundation Forum

About

The week beginning 28 June 2021 marks the first Forum of the Africa Europe Foundation, the network of networks launched last December to inspire and catalyse partnership action across our neighbouring continents and at the climate-health nexus.

The Forum will convene in a common virtual environment the members, leaders and partners of the Foundation and its Strategy Groups: Health, Digital, Transport and Connectivity, Sustainable Energy, Agriculture and Food Systems.

The first Forum is a key moment to drive collective action on the fundamental issues that are ripe for change across key sectors of partnership, and the interconnected initiatives with potential for major impact. The Forum will also showcase the Foundation’s strategic vision for a reimagined Africa-Europe partnership, and collectively steer how the Foundation will assume its role as a network of networks that amplifies new narratives, catalyses cooperation and provides a unique platform for youth agency and innovation.

The Forum programme is planned to run virtually during the course of one week, from 28 June to 2 July 2021. In addition to thematic group deliberations with Members of the Foundation Strategy Groups (SGs), each day will have a strategic focus on the aggregated priorities emerging across the SGs, more specifically “Health”, “Climate”, “Cities”, “Youth” and “An Africa-Europe Climate Alliance”; the themes were chosen as being particularly timely to address because they have direct and immediate implications for grappling with current epidemic, climate and labour crises. The Forum represents a general assembly of the Africa-Europe Foundation, bringing together the Members, key personalities and partner organisations to set the strategic priorities for the coming months, and in the lead-up to the Africa-EU Summit 2022.

The theme of the first Forum is “Ambition”. History has taught us that major crises create opportunities for accelerating social, economic and political change. How can the Africa Europe Foundation, and our collective efforts as a platform of platforms, help write an aspirational new chapter of the Africa Europe partnership at this critical time for our societies?


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Schedule

Schedule

Sustainable Energy Strategy Group
Expand Sustainable Energy Strategy Group

The Africa-Europe energy partnership is growing stronger and deeper, with flagship policy initiatives and added financial momentum. The AEF Strategy Group (SG) on Sustainable Energy aims to play its part, given the huge benefits Africa can harvest from a big increase in investment into energy generation and distribution. Our Strategy Group addresses the need for well-crafted, up-to-date energy regulation by promoting the set-up of an African School for Regulation, which aims to improve the regulatory framework and provide knowledge to a wide range of stakeholders. The SG has placed clean cooking solutions high on its agenda and, with the help of a manifesto for change, is calling on African and European leaders to reboot political and financial leadership to deliver on clean cooking solutions. The SG is also looking at the urgent steps needed to improve the investment climate and advance Africa-Europe energy compacts at country level, in view of next year’s Africa-EU Summit.

Participation in this session is by invitation only.

introductory remarks

Connie Hedegaard (ex officio)

Co-Chair of the Africa Europe Foundation Strategy Group on Energy and former EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Chair of KR Foundation

Kandeh Yumkella (ex officio)

Co-Chair of the Africa Europe Foundation Strategy Group on Energy and former CEO of Sustainable Energy for All

An Africa-Europe Health Alliance: Pandemic Resilience and the Future of Healthcare
Expand An Africa-Europe Health Alliance: Pandemic Resilience and the Future of Healthcare

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to affect all aspects of our lives, health is the central political focus for countries across both continents, creating a much-needed space for reform and translating political will for an Africa-Europe Partnership into healthcare transformation. At opposite ends of the demographic scale, Europe and Africa have much to share in efforts to deliver healthcare systems that are based on solidarity and inclusion. The Health Strategy Group of the Africa-Europe Foundation (AEF) is putting focus on the future of healthcare and health workforces, as well as financial instruments to support resilient health systems. This primary session of the AEF Forum provides a platform for shaping new political and investment initiatives aimed at tackling the capacities and infrastructure required for the healthcare systems of tomorrow, including: scope for a new foresight observatory on health workforces and health bonds to raise funds for health-related projects. Underpinning each of these issues is the need to embed health as a central pillar of a strengthened Africa-EU partnership.

introductory remarks

Agnes Binagwaho

Vice Chancellor and co-founder of the University of Global Health Equity and co-chair of the Africa-Europe foundation strategy group on health, former Rwanda health minister

Gunilla Carlsson

Co-Chair of the Africa Europe Foundation Strategy Group on Health and Vice-Chair of the Strategy Committee

Tamsin Rose

Senior Fellow at the Africa Europe Foundation

Special guests include

Sarah Anyang Agbor

African Union Commissioner of Human Resources, Science and Technology

Zeinab Badawi

Chair of the Royal Africa Society, International Broadcaster and member of the advisory board of Afrobarometer

Ana Gomes

Former member of the European Parliament

Ramtane Lamamra

African Union High Representative for Silencing the Guns and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Algeria

Stanislav Raščan

State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Slovenia

Chrysoula Zacharopoulou

Member of the European Parliament, Co-Chair of the Strategy Groups of the Africa-Europe Foundation and Vice-Chair of the Development Committee at the European Parliament

moderator

Tamsin Rose

Senior Fellow at the Africa Europe Foundation

Continue to 29 JUN
Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Strategy Group
Expand Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Strategy Group

The Africa-Europe agri-food partnership has the ambition to transform food systems sustainably, with flagship policy initiatives and added financial momentum. The AEF SG on Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems aims to play its part given the scale of transformations we urgently need. To build the jobs, businesses and partnerships required, we will focus first on ways to scale-up agri-food SMEs by offering access to finance and mentoring. The SG has flagged the huge importance of stronger support for co-innovation, training and professional development in the agri-food sector. Our initiatives include construction of cross-continental networks of excellence in regenerative agriculture, and an Erasmus exchange programme for African and European farmers and agri-food entrepreneurs. The SG is also providing a particular focus on the Sahel, showing how investment in rural landscapes and livelihoods could put the region on the road to prosperity by 2030.

Participation in this session is by invitation only.

Introductory remarks

Ousmane Badiane (ex officio)

Co-Chair of the Africa Europe Foundation Strategy Group on Agriculture, Executive Chairperson of AKADEMIYA 2063

An Africa-Europe Climate Alliance for Clean Cooking Solutions
Expand An Africa-Europe Climate Alliance for Clean Cooking Solutions

This session will begin with the launch of a manifesto on clean cooking solutions developed by the AEF and partners. The introduction will put in context the Foundation’s work on an “Africa-Europe Climate Alliance” and the priority focus on Clean Cooking as emblematic of the Alliance, why investment in clean cooking has not matched the global magnitude of the challenge in recent years, and why there is a strategic and timely opportunity today for government and business to deliver on clean cooking solutions. This as a way to not only raise the importance of providing clean cooking solutions to all by 2030 but equally to recruit champions and mobilise government and investor to scale-up the cross-continental collective efforts.

The session will begin by highlighting why we are revisiting and rekindling an approach that has failed to get traction in the past. It will outline the fresh and compelling arguments that merit political attention and financial investment.

Introductory remarks

Kandeh Yumkella (ex officio)

Co-Chair of the Africa Europe Foundation Strategy Group on Energy and former CEO of Sustainable Energy for All

Dymphna van der Lans

CEO of the Clean Cooking Alliance

Special guests include

Sheila Oparaocha

International Coordinator and Programme Manager at the Energia International Network on Gender and Sustainable Energy

Hailemariam Desalegn Boshe

Former prime minister of Ethiopia and former president of the African Union

Laurence Tubiana

CEO at the European Climate Foundation

Tariye Gbadegesin

Managing Director and CEO of ARM-Harith Infrastructure Investment LTD

Najma Mohamed

Policy Director for the Green Economy Coalition at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)

Wanjira Mathai

Vice President and Regional Director for Africa at the World Resource Institute

Alessandro Galimberti

Senior Technical Advisor for Climate Change at the AVSI Foundation

Moderator

Tamsin Rose

Senior Fellow at the Africa Europe Foundation

Continue to 30 JUN
Cities: New Narratives for a Stronger Africa-Europe Partnership
Expand Cities: New Narratives for a Stronger Africa-Europe Partnership

The role of cities and mayors is critical to reset the relationship between Africa and Europe in the post COVID-19 recovery. Mayors across the two continents are already working together, showing leadership and progress in areas where states struggle to find common ground. These pragmatic alliances between cities can reinvigorate a more equal partnership between Africa and Europe, making a real difference in the lives of all urban residents.

Cities matter: by 2050, two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities. While not all cities grow at the same pace across Africa and Europe, they share similar opportunities and challenges pertaining to demography, climate change and global pandemics – all factors affecting modern urban living. When COVID-19 dealt a blow to African and European cities with devastating health and economic impacts, mayors stepped up to the challenge, working to secure access to health and other basic services for their residents, as well as innovating and adapting policies and practices to a new global reality.

In this session, organised in partnership with ODI, mayors contributing to the Mayors Dialogue on Growth on Solidarity will share their experiences of working together with other leading figures and will look ahead to how cities can shape the future partnership between the two continents.

Cities connect all the work streams of the AEF Strategy Groups, from transport infrastructure, food systems and the energy transition to healthcare and digital innovation. This session will focus on how city leaders and existing city led platforms can act as catalysts to drive action on the priority initiatives identified by the Foundation Strategy Groups.

This session is organised in partnership with ODI.

Introductory remarks

Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr OBE

Mayor of Freetown and Vice Chair of the C40 Cities Steering Committee

Mohammed Adjei Sowah

Mayor of Accra, Ghana

Special guests include

Mo Ibrahim

Founder and Chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation

Dubravka Šuica

European Commission Vice-President for Democracy and Demography

Connie Hedegaard (ex officio)

Co-Chair of the Africa Europe Foundation Strategy Group on Energy and former EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Chair of KR Foundation

Louise Mushikiwabo

Secretary-General of Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie and former Rwandan foreign minister

João Ribeiro de Almeida

President of Institute Camões

Edlam Abera Yemeru

Chief on Urbanisation at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)

Marta Foresti

Director of ODI Europe

moderator

Dharmendra Kanani

Director, Asia, Peace, Security & Defense, Digital & Chief spokesperson

Continue to 1 JULY
Special Dialogue with Youth Leadership Networks
Expand Special Dialogue with Youth Leadership Networks

Following the launch of the Africa-Europe Foundation (AEF) in December 2020, the AEF High-Level Group has underlined its intent to ensure youth voice, agency, and leadership is central to the work of the Foundation as a network of networks. A Special Dialogue has been timed to take place as a culminating moment of the first AEF Forum in order to analyse the output of the Forum and co-design strategies for putting young people in the driving seat of transforming dialogue into action. There will be a strategic focus on connecting existing youth leadership networks and platforms affiliated to the launch of the AEF and sharing strategic thinking on how to mainstream youth voice in the preparation of next year’s AU-EU Summit, ensuring young people play a leading role on all areas of cooperation (from Health and Climate to Education, Employability, Mobility and Peacebuilding). The strategic meeting builds directly on the outputs of the first AEF Forum and the “Talking Africa-EU” series that ran in the lead-up to the launch of the Foundation in 2020.

Participation in this session is by invitation only.

Special guests include

Mo Ibrahim

Founder and Chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation

Jutta Urpilainen

European Commissioner for International Partnerships

moderator

Dharmendra Kanani

Director, Asia, Peace, Security & Defense, Digital & Chief spokesperson

Transport and Connectivity Strategy Group
Expand Transport and Connectivity Strategy Group

Interconnectivity within and between Africa and Europe has ramifications not only for the Africa-Europe partnership, but potentially worldwide. With Europe contributing disproportionately to climate change, ‘greening’ transport networks on the continent is a priority. For Africa, making use of the advantages conferred by geography offers a chance to leapfrog up the infrastructure ladder – and as the events around the Suez Canal showed, Africa’s connectivity can have a huge
impact on the world economy. This meeting of the Transport and Connectivity Strategy Group is an opportunity to reflect on these issues, as well as those raised during the transversal sessions of the Forum on health, clean cooking, and cities, and how to link these to the work of the Strategy Group – such as partnerships on urban mobility and clean public transport. The Strategy Group will also discuss the issues generated through the working group processes and discussions with members, including initiatives on inland water transport, short-sea shipping, and online freight platforms. This strategic planning meeting will be a chance to define the work streams for the remainder of the year and into 2022.

Participation in this session is by invitation only.

Introductory remarks

Bernard Gustin (ex officio)

Co-Chair of the Africa Europe Foundation Strategy Group on Transport and Connectivity and former CEO, Brussels Airlines

Elsie S. Kanza

Special Advisor to the President of the World Economic Forum (WEF)

Continue to 2 JULY
Digital Strategy Group
Expand Digital Strategy Group

There is arguably no area more important to Africa and Europe’s growth and integration than the potential created by digital transformation. Both Africa and Europe are at a pivotal point in time, where a transformative and inclusive digital agenda can prepare them to tackle a common future. The AEF Digital Strategy Group’s scope and ambition is to build a conducive environment for innovation within digital ecosystems in Africa whilst promoting mutual linkages, knowledge transfer, and partnership with Europe. The Group focuses its attention on leveraging innovation potential and opportunities for cross fertilisation in each of the priority areas of the partnership in concert with the sister Strategy Groups of the AEF. This meeting will focus its attention on the E-health sector – in particular improving integration, coordination and communication along the patient journey through digital solutions. Equally, the importance of data, its governance, protection and interoperability, has been noted as a cornerstone supporting the work of each area of the AEF and the Africa-Europe Partnership, and will need to be properly addressed in order to build an effective strategy for cooperation and action between both continents.

Participation in this session is by invitation only.

Introductory remarks

Paula Ingabire (ex officio)

Co-Chair of the Africa Europe Foundation Strategy Group on Digital and Minister of ICT & Innovation of Rwanda

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