Health, welfare and prosperity: an EU-Africa partnership for a people-centred approach to human development

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Health, welfare and prosperity: an EU-Africa partnership for a people-centred approach to human development

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As Africa and Europe seek to re-set their partnership, Friends of Europe is engaging with a diverse range of stakeholders across both continents to understand the long-term vision and the converging and diverging priorities at the heart of this new cooperation.

Africa and Europe have a shared interest and much to gain from one another in accelerating the progress of the global agenda for sustainable development and working together to address the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The health crisis has revealed the vulnerability and fragility of growth models across both continents whilst at the same time showcasing the power that digital technologies, robust industries, innovation ecosystems and integrated digital economies can have in building resilience and finding solutions to current and future shocks.

Through its “Debating Africa-EU” series, Friends of Europe is focused on engaging its partners, the African Union Commission and the new EU College of Commissioners around their vision and priorities for EU-Africa cooperation. In response to the Joint Communication, Towards a comprehensive Strategy with Africa, this series serves as a consultative exercise for stakeholders and partners from both continents to voice their perspectives on the future of the relationship. Following the first three debates of 30 June, 10 September, and 17 September, the fourth ‘In Conversation With’ in this series takes place on September 24 with the European Commissioner for Health, Stella Kyriakides, and the African Union Commissioner for Social Affairs, H.E. Amira Mohammed El Fadil. The strategic focus of the discussion will be on “Health, welfare and prosperity: an EU-Africa partnership for a people-centred approach to human development”.


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Schedule

Schedule

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Health, welfare and prosperity: an EU-Africa partnership for a people-centred approach to human development Expand Health, welfare and prosperity: an EU-Africa partnership for a people-centred approach to human development

The proposed Strategy with Africa outlines the need for Europe to partner with Africa to rapidly enhance knowledge and skills, particularly for women and youth, protecting and improving social rights, and eradicating child labour. This puts Human Development, the cornerstone for sustainable development, at the heart of the Partnership. Creating decent work opportunities will enable Africa’s rapidly growing young population to transition from the informal to the formal sector, which is especially important for women and girls. Decent work requires health and safety at work, inclusive social protection systems, universal health coverage, access to quality health services, and fighting against inequality and, discrimination, child labour and forced labour. Human development is also intertwined with forced migration. Lack of access to basic services and work opportunities due to financial, geographic, or other structural barriers serve as ‘push’ factors for people to move intra and internationally, and these journeys can expose migrants to health risks. Partnership between Europe and Africa through investment in health and education with the goal of universal access to basic services will increase opportunities for decent work, reduce inequalities (particularly gender-based inequalities), lessen negative drivers of migration, and ultimately serve as a key stepping stone on the road to eradicating poverty.

  • How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted people’s livelihoods, food security, and health? What effect do we expect this to have on migratory flows?
  • How will investing in human development, including nutrition, improve the chances for girls’ and women’s social mobility?
  • How can Africa and Europe work together to broaden the formal labour market in Africa and create decent work opportunities that support human development?
  • Can greater connectivity infrastructure across Africa improve human development?
  • Can policies such as ‘right to work’ and ‘recourse to public funds’ be put in place to provide long-term support for asylum-seekers and refugees in Africa?
  • How does increased access to mobility improve opportunities for women and girls in particular?

Moderator

Dharmendra Kanani

Director of Insights at Friends of Europe

Speakers

Jutta Urpilainen

European Commissioner for International Partnerships

Stella Kyriakides

European Commissioner for Health

Amira Mohammed El Fadil

African Union Commissioner for Social Affairs

End of the debate
Speakers

Speakers

Jutta Urpilainen
Jutta Urpilainen

European Commissioner for International Partnerships

Show more information on Jutta Urpilainen

EU Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen currently oversees the Commission’s work on international partnerships, in addition to being an outspoken advocate for gender equality, social justice and youth participation. Before joining the Commission, Ms Urpilainen served as a Member of the Finnish Parliament from 2003 to 2019. In 2008, she became the first woman leader of the Social Democratic Party of Finland. From 2011 to 2014, she served as Finland’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister. During that time, she became closely involved in development issues. She served as the Foreign Minister’s Special Representative on Mediation (2017-19) and chaired the Finnish National Commission for UNESCO (2015-18).

Stella Kyriakides
Stella Kyriakides

European Commissioner for Health

Show more information on Stella Kyriakides

Stella Kyriakides is a Cypriot psychologist and politician who has been serving as European Commissioner since 2019. In her current portfolio, she is responsible for supporting member states in improving the quality and sustainability of health systems, creating a European Health Data Space to promote health-data exchange and support research. She is also in charge of ensuring full implementation of the European One Health Action Plan against Antimicrobial Resistance and working towards a global agreement on antimicrobials.

Photo of Amira Mohammed El Fadil
Amira Mohammed El Fadil

African Union Commissioner for Social Affairs

Show more information on Amira Mohammed El Fadil

Amira Elfadil is a renowned Sudanese official with a distinguished career in public service. Most recently, she was elected as African Commissioner for Social Affairs in 2017. Prior to this, she held numerous positions at the national level, including as Minister of Welfare and Social Security, and Minister for Social Affairs for the Khartoum State. She also served as Member of Parliament, on the Foreign Relations Committee. Elfadil has used her offices to push for children, girls and women’s empowerment, having held various senior roles in the Sudanese Women General Union. She brings to the Commission a wealth of experience as a veteran politician and a renowned activist for the most vulnerable communities.

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