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.


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 European Commission Vice-President

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Honorary President of the Africa-Europe Foundation, Former President of the Republic of Liberia, Nobel Laureate

Mary Robinson

first female President of Ireland, Chair of the Elders and Honorary Co-president of the Africa Europe Foundation

Louise Mushikiwabo

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

Chrysoula Zacharopoulou

Member of the European Parliament, Co-Chair of the Africa-Europe Foundation (AEF) Strategy Groups and co-Chair of the COVAX Council

Ayodeji Adewunmi

Co-Founder & Director, Emprego Holdings

Clare Akamanzi

Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Development Board

Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr OBE

Mayor of Freetown, Member of the Africa-Europe Foundation High-Level Group of Personalities and Vice-Chair of the C40 Cities Steering Committee

Zeinab Badawi

Member of the Africa Europe Foundation’s High-Level Group of Personalities, President of SOAS, International Broadcaster and Member of the Board of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation

Fatih Birol

Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA)

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

Chair of the Management Board at the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

Arancha González

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

Gilbert F. Houngbo

President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Antonio Feijo

President of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

Mahamadou Issoufou

Former President of Niger

Abdoulie Janneh

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

Donald Kaberuka

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

Horst Köhler

United Nations Personal Envoy for Western Sahara; former President of Germany

Ramtane Lamamra

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

Pascal Lamy

President of the Paris Peace Forum, President Emeritus of Notre Europe - Jacques Delors Institute, former director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO), former European commissioner for trade, Trustee of Friends of Europe and Member of the Africa-Europe Foundation High-Level Group of Personalities

Thomas Leysen

Chairman of Mediahuis, Umicore, the King Baudouin Foundation and the Rubenianum Fund

Mark Malloch-Brown

President of the Open Society Foundations and former head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Carlos Moedas

Mayor of Lisbon, former EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science and former Portuguese Under Secretary of State, Trustee of Friends of Europe

Festus Mogae

Former President of Botswana

Federica Mogherini

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

Amina J. Mohammed

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

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Director General of the World Trade Organization

Romano Prodi

Former Prime Minister of Italy and President of the European Commission

Minouche Shafik

Director of the London School of Economics and former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England

Rajiv J. Shah

President of the Rockefeller Foundation and former USAID Administrator

Vera Songwe

United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa and Member of the Africa-Europe Foundation Women Leaders Network (WLN)

Mark Suzman

Chief Executive Officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

the following members of the Strategy Groups are ex-officio members of the HLG

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

Gunilla Carlsson (ex officio)

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

Marion Guillou

Chair of the Board of Directors at Agreenium

Bernard Gustin

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

Rwandan Minister of Information and Communications Technology and Innovation, and Member of the High-Level Group of Personalities on Africa-Europe Relations at the Africa-Europe Foundation

Elsie S. Kanza

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

Ibrahim Assane Mayaki

CEO of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Planning & Coordination Agency (NEPAD)

Kandeh Yumkella

Co-Chair of the Africa-Europe Foundation Strategy Group on Energy, Member of Parliament in Sierra Leone, and former CEO of Sustainable Energy for All (SEforAll) and Director-General of UNIDO

Executive Committee of the Africa-Europe Foundation

Geert Cami

Co-Founder and Secretary General

Nathalie Delapalme

Executive Director, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Co-Secretary General of the Africa-Europe Foundation

Saliem Fakir

Executive Director of the African Climate Foundation

David McNair

Executive Director for Global Policy, the ONE Campaign


Contact usRahul Chawla

Programme Manager for Transport and Connectivity at the Africa-Europe Foundation

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