High-Level Group of Personalities on Africa-Europe Relations

Initiative

High-Level Group of Personalities on Africa-Europe Relations

About

The established High-Level Group of Personalities represents the steering group of the Africa Europe Foundation, providing the political and strategic orientations for the work of the Foundation; it is composed of representatives of the founding organisations, the established High-Level Group members as well as co-chairs of the Africa Europe Strategy Groups (ex-officio) affiliated to the Foundation.

Background

The High-Level Group of Personalities on Africa-Europe relations was originally established with the support of Friends of Europe, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and the ONE Campaign. The aim was to combine each other’s expertise and longstanding networks of high-level stakeholders from both continents to assemble an independent and balanced group of respectable top-level leaders, to informally exchange views in order to accompany and advise on the deepening partnership process.

The high-level group of personalities was set up to explore mutually beneficial ways for the two continents to work together effectively across core policy areas. The selected EU and African personalities are high-level experts and much-respected and experienced thinkers who can provide honest and direct opinions and ideas, not afraid to speak truth to power. These personalities include a balanced representation of African and European stakeholders, including representatives from the public, private and civil society sectors. Their reputation, experience and knowledge of the issues raised ensure that they receive public and media attention.

The objective

In addition to providing strategic guidance to the work of the Africa Europe Foundation, this high-level group of personalities is helping craft a new narrative for a modernised and prospect-oriented Africa-Europe relationship. Their suggestions and recommendations will not only spur debate but also ensure that state policies and actions also reflect the perspectives of an experienced group of high-level experts from both continents. Their recommendations will notably feed into the strategies of upcoming political discussions in Africa and the EU.

We see a clear and timely opportunity to complement the “official processes” between Africa and Europe – including the African Union-EU dialogue – by gathering insights on the practical follow-up, further refining and implementation of policies and actions with a focus on the mid- to long-term dimension of the Africa-Europe relationship. Informal and trusted discussions will centre on the overall challenges and opportunities in the partnership but also on specific areas which need further exploration.

The group was set up following an informal and exploratory meeting held on November 2017 in Brussels and an exchange with five European Commissioners as well as the President of the European Parliament, and was launched in October 2018. The group meets biannually on an ad-hoc basis with African and European leaders who are designing the future relationship between the two continents, with meeting locations alternating between Africa and Europe.


Confirmed group members include

Mo Ibrahim

Founder and Chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation

Etienne Davignon

President of Friends of Europe, Belgian Minister of State and former vice-president of the European Commission

Bono

Co-Founder of the ONE Campaign

Ayodeji Adewunmi

Co-Founder & Director, Emprego Holdings

Clare Akamanzi

Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Development Board

Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr OBE

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

Zeinab Badawi

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

Ousmane Badiane (ex officio)

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

Agnes Binagwaho (ex officio)

Co-Chair of the Africa Europe Foundation Strategy Group on Health and Vice Chancellor and co-founder of the University of Global health Equity

Fatih Birol

Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA)

Gunilla Carlsson (ex officio)

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

Joaquim Alberto Chissano

Former president of the Republic of Mozambique and former president of the African Union

Aliko Dangote

Founder of Dangote Industries and Dangote Group

Hailemariam Desalegn Boshe

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

Tanja Gönner

Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and former Minister for Social Affairs of the State of Baden Württemberg

Arancha González

Minister of Foreign Affairs, EU and Cooperation of Spain and former Executive Director of the International Trade Centre

Bernard Gustin (ex officio)

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

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

Paula Ingabire (ex officio)

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

Abdoulie Janneh

Former UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Honorary President of the Africa Europe Foundation, former president of the Republic of Liberia and Nobel Laureate

Donald Kaberuka

High Representative for the Peace Fund of the Africa Union Commission and former President of the African Development Bank

Ramtane Lamamra

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

Pascal Lamy

President Emeritus of the Jacques Delors Institute, former Director-General of the World Trade Organisation and Friends of Europe Trustee

Carlos Moedas

Member of the Board of Trustees at the Gulbenkian Foundation, former EU Commissioner and former Portuguese Under Secretary of State

Festus Mogae

Former President of Botswana

Amina J. Mohammed

Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group

Federica Mogherini

Rector of the College of Europe and former High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security

Louise Mushikiwabo

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

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Director General of the World Trade Organization

Romano Prodi

Former Prime Minister of Italy and President of the European Commission

Mary Robinson

Honorary President of the Africa Europe Foundation, Chair of the Elders and former president of the Republic of Ireland

Vera Songwe

Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

Ingrid Wünning Tschol (ex officio)

Co-Chair of the Africa Europe Foundation Strategy Group on Agriculture and Senior Vice-President Strategic Development, Robert Bosch Stiftung

Kandeh Yumkella (ex officio)

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


Contact usRahul Chawla

Project Manager, Strategy Group on Transport and Connectivity

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