Scoping report on digital economy

In the face of a climate emergency and as both continents come to terms with the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a new sense of urgency for Africa and Europe to come together to modernise and revitalise not only their formal relations, but also the underlying narrative.

Both have a shared interest in implementing Agenda 2030, tackling global health crises, combatting the climate emergency, ensuring food security and forging better connectivity.

While 2020 has opened up new space for Africa and Europe to reimagine their relationship and agree on areas for deeper cooperation, 2021 will see ideas turned to action, as the two forge ahead in revitalising their relationship.

This landmark year includes plans to hold the 6th African Union-European Union Summit, as well as to deepen the Africa-EU partnership across multilateral fora including COP-26, the UN Summit on Food Systems, the UN highlevel dialogue on Sustainable Energy and the Global Health Summit.

As Africa and Europe embark on this renewed partnership, Friends of Europe and the Mo Ibrahim Foundation are delighted to play a role in driving an ongoing and strategic conversation through the Africa Europe Foundation Strategy Groups. These independent fora will aim to influence decision making, offer innovative proposals for impactful initiatives, and build inclusive networks with the will to create positive change.

Meant to advise and provoke the Strategy Group, this scoping report represents a starting point. It provides a state of play on the issue at hand, an overview of challenges and opportunities, and a selection of case studies from across both continents. It also includes initial recommendations of points for discussion and a list of guiding questions to drive debate.

The report also encourages the reader to keep in mind the cross-cutting themes which should underpin all Strategy Groups: climate, youth, gender, SMEs, governance and mobility.

We hope that you find the contents of this report informative, and that they help you to start thinking differently about the issues.

While extensive, the contents of this report are by no means exhaustive. We look forward to digging deeper into the issues with you in the months and years ahead.

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