The Africa-Europe Foundation is a consortium entity founded by a leading European think-tank, Friends of Europe, and a leading African Foundation, Mo Ibrahim Foundation, in partnership with the African Climate Foundation and the ONE Campaign and with a multitude of stakeholders from civil society, business, policymaking and the youth sector across Africa and Europe.

Africa-Europe Foundation Strategy Groups – Our sectoral focus

The Africa-Europe Foundation Strategy Groups are mandated to build a commonality of purpose from the complexity of sometimes diverging perspectives and approaches across priority domains of partnership; enlarge the Africa-Europe partnership to new and diverse actors; unlock dormant opportunities; leverage joint partnership action; open up space for fresh policy thinking, strategic foresight and a holistic rethink of critical sectors for multilateral cooperation; and reinforce Africa-EU on the international stage.

The Strategy Groups will focus on priority sectors that are central to Africa-Europe cooperation and critical in both the COVID context and in the face of the ongoing climate emergency. We recognise the interconnections across priority sectors and will work to break down silos and promote cross-sector initiatives.

The Strategy Groups will focus on the following priority sectors:

  • Health
  • Digital
  • Agriculture & Sustainable Food Systems
  • Energy & Green Transformation
  • Transport & Connectivity

The Strategy Groups are supported by the High-Level Group of Personalities who provides political and strategic orientations for the Africa-Europe Foundation.

Our cross-cutting themes

In promoting a whole-of-society approach we highlight the importance of embedding cross-cutting themes which are pivotal to taking the Africa-Europe partnership to the next level of impact:

Climate Change; Youth; Gender; Education; Mobility; Involvement of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMES); and Governance.

The research partners affiliated to the Africa-Europe Foundation Strategy Groups include IPEMED (Mediterranean World Economic Foresight Institute), the Policy Center for the New South (PCNS), the Next Einstein Forum and FERDI (Fondation pour les Études et Recherches sur le Développement International).

The preparation of the Africa-Europe Foundation has been supported by the European Commission and in association with the African Union Commission through the “Debating Africa-EU” series.

The announcement of the Africa-Europe Foundation is a call to involve diverse organisations, youth and civil society networks, think-tanks, foundations and institutions working on the Africa-Europe partnership.


Paul Walton — Director

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Strategy Groups

Janet Fofang
Janet Fofang

Founder of Tassah Academy

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Janet Fofang is an award-winning electrical engineering educator recognised as a pioneer in developing STEM training programs in electronics, robotics, and programming. Throughout her career, Fofang has been a key player in developing the digital skills of thousands of young people, with a focus on girls, in Africa. Her innovative approach earned her the A. Richard Newton Educator ABIE Award for innovative teaching practices in STEM and computer science, among other awards. Fofang is also the founder of the Tassah Academy, a leading provider of applied STEM curriculums in Cameroon.

Emile A. Frison
Emile A. Frison

Member of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food)

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A Belgian national, Emile Frison has spent his entire career in international agricultural research for development, including six years in Africa in Nigeria and Mauritania. He is now a member of IPES-Food, where he was lead author of its “From Uniformity to Diversity: a paradigm shift from industrial agriculture to diversified agroecological systems” report. He is also the Chair of the Board of Directors of Ecoagriculture Partners and a member of the Mission Board on Soil Health and Food of the European Commission.

Tariye Gbadegesin
Tariye Gbadegesin

Managing Director and CEO of ARM-Harith Infrastructure Investment LTD

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An investment professional with over 20 years’ experience in finance, principal investments, and infrastructure, Tariye has mobilized over US$3 billion of capital for infrastructure projects in Africa. Tariye is also a member of the Advisory Council of the Millennium Challenge Corporation in Washington D.C., the Advisory Committee on Infrastructure for the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investing (PRI), and the Technical Working Group on Finance and Investment for the United Nations High Level Dialogue on Energy (UN HLDE). Tariye was on the founding team to establish the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), where she led the US$800 million Industrial and Telecommunications Infrastructure business unit. Her global experience includes roles at the International Monetary Fund, the Boston Consulting Group, & Price Waterhouse Coopers.

Marion Guillou
Marion Guillou

Chair of the Board of Directors at Agreenium

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Marion Guillou is a French scientist specialised in global food security. She currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for the French Agricultural, Veterinary and Forestry Institute. She also has a variety of national and international responsibilities, especially in relation to food security, climate, research and skills training. Guillou is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and member of the French High Council on Climate (HCC), among others.

Bernard Gustin
Bernard Gustin (ex officio)

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

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Bernard Gustin is a Belgian travel and transportation expert with a keen eye for development of the Africa-Europe partnership. As the former Chief Executive Officer of Brussels Airlines, he was responsible for the airline’s partnership with Lufthansa Group and its entrance into the global Star Alliance airline partnership. Prior to his appointment as CEO, he was a key figure in the initial launch of the SN Brussels Airlines in 2001 and worked on its successful merger with Virgin Express. Gustin has also served as Chairman of the Association of European Airlines and a board member of Medicins Sans Frontieres.

Aboubaker Omar Hadi
Aboubaker Omar Hadi

Chairman of the Djibouti Ports & Free Zones Authority

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Aboubaker Omar Hadi has been at the forefront of Djibouti’s transformation into one of the fastest-growing logistics hubs in Africa. Previously the director of operations at the port of Djibouti, he has spearheaded projects worth more than $15 billion, including the historic expansion of Djibouti’s world-class port facilities, the development of a new free trade zone, and the launch of a new passenger and cargo airline, Air Djibouti. In addition, during his 40 years careers in the maritime transport industry, he supervised port operations in Lagos and Djibouti.

Mansoor Hamayun
Mansoor Hamayun

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Bboxx

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Mansoor Hamayun is a young entrepreneur and a passionate advocate for sustainable and affordable energy. Aiming to transform the lives of millions, Hamayun founded Bboxx, a company that develops, manufactures and distributes solar energy solutions to developing countries across Africa and Asia. He now leads its global operations in providing communities and businesses with energy access.

Ziad Hamoui
Ziad Hamoui

Founding Member and National President for Ghana of the Borderless Alliance

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Ziad Hamoui is a founder of the Borderless Alliance, a private sector-led, multi-stakeholder advocacy group that promotes economic integration and tackles barriers to trade and transport in West Africa. Hamoui is also a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) – Ghana and an active member of its Governing Council. He recently co-founded a grassroots trade advocacy campaign in Ghana, the “Trade Facilitation Coalition for Ghana” and is a member of several advisory committees in the areas of trade policy, trade facilitation, and agribusiness.

Pawel Hansdorfer
Pawel Hansdorfer

Senior Director of International Business, CEO and Board Member of Asseco Companies in Africa

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Pawel Hansdorfer is an expert in public and private sector mission critical systems, with over 25 years of IT experience. He is specifically focused on emerging markets, seeking to identify solutions to government’s IT requests. Asseco is the largest IT software company in Central and Eastern Europe, operating in eight African countries. Hansdorfer’s work at Asseco focusses on supporting local African IT development, capacity building and knowledge transfer processes.

Claire Hassoun
Claire Hassoun

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Appload

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Claire Hassoun has more than ten years of experience working as a project director in international development and consultant in the transport infrastructure sector for the likes of the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC). Based in Mozambique’s capital Maputo, Hassoun has extensively studied the region’s transport sector and supply chains through the consultancy firm she co-founded in 2016. Her most recent assignments include a consultancy for UNFPA in rural mobility. In 2020, Hassoun launched Appload, a digital marketplace for logistics in Mozambique and southern Africa, which connects shippers to carriers in real-time.

Connie Hedegaard
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

Show more information on Connie Hedegaard (ex officio)

Connie Hedegaard holds several leading positions in support of a low-carbon and green economy. She was appointed Lead of the Mission on “Adaptation to Climate Change including Societal Transformation” for Horizon Europe and is also the chair of the Board for the KR Foundation, a Danish climate and sustainability foundation. Hedegaard was also the European Commissioner for Climate Action from 2010 to 2014, during which she led the negotiations towards the adoption of the 2030 Climate and Energy Framework and the 2050 Roadmap for moving to a low carbon economy, whilst also representing the EU in international climate negotiations.

Martin Hiles
Martin Hiles

former senior business manager at the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of logistics and Transport (CILT)

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Martin Hiles boasts nearly three decades of professional experience across the African continent – always with an awareness of the transport industry’s best practice across the globe as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT). He previously managed and reinvigorated Ghana’s only inland water transport company. More recently, he led three international marketing teams to prepare work on the Volta River Basin, hoping to transform it into a developmental inland waterway across Ghana and expand the concept across the region.

Nnaemeka IkegwuonuNnaemeka Ikegwuonu
Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu

Executive Director of SmallHolders Foundation and Chief Executive Officer of ColdHubs.

Show more information on Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu

Nnaemeka Ikegwuonou founded Smallholders Foundation in 2003, to inform, educate and improve the livelihood of rural small farmers, using educational radio programmes and practical field demonstrations. Ikegwuonou’s for-profit company ColdHubs designs, installs, and operates solar-powered walk-in cold rooms in farms and outdoor food markets, for smallholder farmers, retailers and wholesalers. He is Nigeria’s most prominent young agriculturist, an Ashoka Fellow, Future Awards Nigeria’s Young Person of the Year 2011, and 2013 Laureate of the prestigious Yara Prize for Green Revolution in Africa, among others.

Photo of Amar Inamdar
Amar Inamdar

Managing Director of KawiSafi Ventures

Show more information on Amar Inamdar

Amar Inamdar is an investor, scientist and entrepreneur from East Africa. He brings over 25 years of private sector experience of building markets and businesses in emerging economies. He is an active board representative on a diverse portfolio of technology-driven companies, having previously managed projects at the International Finance Corporation and the World Bank, before joining the new business team at Royal Dutch Shell to drive growth in domestic African energy markets.

Paula Ingabire
Paula Ingabire (ex officio)

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

Show more information on Paula Ingabire (ex officio)

Paula Ingabire is a Rwandan politician and tech enthusiast. Prior to her appointment, she served as Head of the ICT Business Development Department at the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and coordinator of the Kigali Innovation City Project. Ingabire coordinated the creation of SMART Africa, a broadband infrastructure initiative for African socio-economic growth. She was named among the Top 20 most influential people in digital government by Apolitical. Ingabire serves on the Global Council of the World Summit Award Board of Directors, WEF Cyber Security Board and Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Global Network Advisory Board.

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Founded by

  • Friends of Europe

    The think tank for a more inclusive, sustainable and forward-thinking Europe. Friends of Europe is Brussels' most innovative think-tank, and for two decades has been showcasing new ideas on Europe's future while challenging outdated ones.

  • Mo Ibrahim Foundation

    The Mo Ibrahim Foundation (MIF) is an African foundation, established in 2006 with one focus: the critical importance of governance and leadership in Africa. It is our conviction that governance and leadership lie at the heart of any tangible and shared improvement in the quality of life of African citizens.

In partnership with

  • The ONE Campaign

    The ONE Campaign, a global movement and international not-for-profit organisation that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease.

  • The African Climate Foundation

    The African Climate Foundation is the first African-led strategic climate change grant-making foundation


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