PRESS RELEASE | Resetting EU-Africa Relations - Getting It Right This Time

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Resetting EU-Africa Relations – Getting It Right This Time

Friends of Europe, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, and the ONE Campaign convene high-level personalities from Europe and Africa to reset the continents’ relationship

Brussels, 10 October 2018: Africa and Europe are changing fast, challenging past perceptions, out-of-date views and traditional patterns when it comes to their partnership.

Friends of Europe, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and the ONE Campaign join forces to provide an alternative approach to resetting the relationship between Africa and the EU. The inaugural meeting brings together former presidents and prime ministers of African and European nations, along with current and former heads of international agencies and foundations, and other high-level experts to shape a different narrative on this strategic relationship.

“For too long EU-Africa relations have looked nothing like a partnership. It’s time for a reset and together we seek to find ways in which to create a partnership that is based on a narrative of cooperation and collaboration and of joint ownership of ideas and initiatives”, said Etienne Davignon, President of Friends of Europe, Belgian Minister of State and former European Commission Vice-President.

“We need to have a frank and honest conversation between Europe and Africa. Only through better understanding can we address the issues of concern, from development to migrations,” said Mo Ibrahim, Founder and Chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.

“It’s more obvious than ever that Europe and Africa could soar from a partnership of equals – one based on common interests, economic growth, and investment in the greatest asset: people. Now is the time to shape it,” said Gayle Smith, President and CEO of the ONE Campaign.

The inaugural meeting was hosted by Neven Mimica, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development at the Berlaymont: “This initiative comes at an important time because we need to take a different look at our partnership. It should not be about managing short-term risks or acting under a donor-recipient relation. It should be about exploring the huge opportunities that can produce benefits for African and European societies alike. We need to stop seeing Africa in the first place as a recipient of development support, and see it for what it is: a partner with whom we share much more than with others, with whom we have many intersected interests, a continent that has embarked on a structural transformation and where opportunities for investments and jobs are indisputable”.

The EU-Africa group will meet twice a year to help design the future relationship of the two continents, alternating between Europe and Africa. The following meeting will take place in the margins of the next annual Ibrahim Governance Weekend, to be held in Abidjan in April 2019.

Note to the Editor:
To read the group’s manifesto and learn more about its members, please click here.

About Friends of Europe 
Friends of Europe is a leading think tank that connects people, stimulates debate and triggers change to create a more inclusive, sustainable and forward-looking Europe.

About the Mo Ibrahim Foundation
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation is an African foundation that focuses in public governance and leadership in Africa, as the key elements to deliver the continent’s potential and shape a positive future.

About the ONE Campaign 
The ONE Campaign is a policy and advocacy organization of more than 9 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. Not politically partisan, ONE was co-founded by U2 lead singer Bono to raise public awareness and press political leaders to combat AIDS and other preventable diseases, increase investments in agriculture and nutrition, and demand greater transparency in poverty-fighting programs.

Contact details: 
Angela Pauly, Head of Communications
Friends of Europe
Angela.pauly@friendsofeurope.org
+32 2 893 9816

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