In her speech to the European Parliament on Thursday 25 March on the occasion of the presentation of the resolution on the new EU-Africa strategy, Jutta Urpilainen, the Commissioner for International Partnerships – who was also speaking at the name of Josep Borrell, High Representative and Vice-President of the Commission -, highlighted several points of the new relationship to be co-built between the two continents, and of which we are reporting the essential here, in verbatim form.
“A significant portion of the nearly 40 billion euros mobilized to support partner countries has gone to Africa. (…)
On the health crisis
“COVAX vaccine deliveries are now taking place across the continent. We also continue to support health systems strengthening and national immunization strategies. And we explore how to strengthen local manufacturing and production capacities in Africa within the context of our external action budget. (…)
“The crisis has revealed the urgency of the strategy’s five pillars and the need to streamline human development across the partnership.
On the EU-Africa “joint communication”
“The priorities set out in our joint communication and in this report should help us lead a sustainable and inclusive global recovery, by linking the Sustainable Development Goals with investment and debt relief.
On common actions
“These areas can be win-win opportunities for Africa and Europe that benefit both people and the planet.
“We can tackle climate change and environmental degradation, reverse biodiversity loss and ensure food security, while focusing on job creation, human development and a holistic approach to migration.
On inclusion and rights
“Likewise, when it comes to digitization. If we bridge the digital divide in Africa, there is enormous potential to foster inclusion.
“In doing so, we must continue to promote democracy, human rights, good governance and peace and security as preconditions for sustainable development.
On women and young people
“As a final point, let me salute your report’s endorsement of our shared vision of supporting women and youth. (…)
Likewise, meeting the growing demand for Africa’s young and dynamic workforce by investing in education, training and skills is essential in a post-pandemic world. In particular, I decided to increase funding for education from 7% to at least 10% of our budget.
“But we need to engage with young people in Africa to guide us through the process.
“This is one of my personal priorities and I am happy to announce that I have launched a Youth Outreach Committee and that I will appoint a Special Envoy for Youth. “
Link to the video of the speech: https://swll.to/TLqH6