Building capacity to help Africa trade better

Final Declaration of the 5th African Union-European Union Summit


Final Declaration of the 5th African Union-European Union Summit

Final Declaration of the 5th African Union-European Union Summit
Photo credit: 5th AU-EU Summit

Investing in Youth for Accelerated Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development


  1. We, the Heads of State and Government of Member States of the African Union (AU) and European Union (EU), the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission, meeting in Abidjan on 29-30 November 2017 on the occasion of our fifth African Union (AU)-European Union (EU) Summit, reaffirm that the Joint Strategy adopted ten years ago at the Lisbon Summit remains the Framework for our Partnership. We recall our commitments made at the 4th European Union-Africa Summit held in Brussels in April 2014 and the 2014-2017 roadmap, based on the principles of mutual trust, sovereign equality, integrity and interdependence;

  2. We strongly commit to work jointly under the agreed theme of the Summit: “Investing in Youth for Accelerated Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development” with the objective of bringing concrete benefits to our young populations and future generations. Investing in youth is a prerequisite for building a sustainable future. It is a high priority to provide young people with the skills and opportunities they need through the mobilization of smart and targeted investments; We agree to empower young people, both girls and boys, as well as women, to participate in political, economic and social life, on equal terms, to their full potential;

  3. We emphasize our common interest and opportunity for a paradigm shift to an even stronger, mutually beneficial partnership in the spirit of shared ownership, responsibility, reciprocity, respect and mutual accountability and transparency. As two Unions, we support regional unity, integration and speaking with One Voice in the management and implementation of this partnership, in which the regional Economic Communities have their place. We commit to stronger mutual engagement and a more coordinated approach to ensure effective multilateralism, including through stronger AU-EU cooperation at the UN and other international institutions. We will also strengthen AU-EU-UN trilateral cooperation;

  4. We affirm our commitment to uphold the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States to reject unconstitutional change of government as well as interferences in the domestic political processes by external forces, taking into account the African Union Constitutive Act, the EU Lisbon treaty, and the UN charter.

  5. We take note of the pre-Summit events that were organised by youth representatives, business, civil society organisations, local authorities, economic and social actors and the Panafrican and European Parliament.

Growth, investment, Infrastructure and skills

  1. We acknowledge that creating sufficient quality jobs that enable youth to enjoy decent livelihoods is important for their empowerment and sustainable development at large, and all the more so in light of demographic developments. We will increase joint efforts to advance economic transformation and sustainable development. We agree on the urgent need to boost efforts towards improving investment and business climate as well as towards unlocking and increasing responsible and sustainable African and European investments. To that effect we welcome the launch of the European External Investment Plan and the G20 Africa Partnership that will contribute to financing and promote private sector investment in Africa. We will promote intra-African trade, advance greater economic integration and support the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) and the implementation of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) to create the regional infrastructure necessary for continental interconnection. We note the fourth industrial revolution and its consequences impact on economies, including unlocking the potential of the digital economy for Africa and Europe in the creation of jobs, skills and economic development for the youth. Quality jobs require skilled people. We will deepen our collaboration and exchange in education, technology development, knowledge, skills, research and in development to respond effectively to the specific needs of our economies and launch innovative actions in the fields of Scientific, Technical and Vocational Education and Training and, youth employment and entrepreneurship, aiming at increasing the employability of young people.

Resilience, peace and security

  1. We acknowledge that Africa and EU have common security threats. New threats to international and regional peace and security have an impact on the stability of our two continents, particularly the growing terrorist threats and trans-boundary criminal activities. In this regard, we recognise the need to strengthen the relationship between the AU and EU and agree on the principle of developing as soon as possible a framework document, which will put our partnership on peace and security on a more solid and structured basis, taking into account the complexity of these threats and the need to address their root causes;

  2. We reiterate our commitment to the implementation of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). We acknowledge the successful deployment of African peace support operations as well as EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions. Ongoing AU reform efforts and actions to secure predictable and sustainable financing are important stepping stones to strengthen this process;

  3. We reaffirm the importance of support for AU peace operations authorized by the UN Security Council, including the possibility of utilizing UN assessed contributions for AU mandated peace support operations authorized by the UN Security Council. We welcome the commitment by Africa to contribute towards the Peace Fund. We acknowledge and underline the importance of continued support by the EU to African peace and security activities. We also recognize the role of African Regional Organizations in peace and security. We will support the active role of youth and women in prevention, management and mediation of conflicts, in line with the AU and UN agendas.

Migration and mobility

  1. We aim to promote a positive, and constructive and multidimensional approach to migration that takes place in a safe, orderly and regular manner. Taking into account and complementing existing dialogues and frameworks, we commit to deepen our cooperation and dialogue on migration and mobility in a strengthened and regular manner between Africa and Europe. We express our strong political commitment to address the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement. We stress the importance of effectively managing irregular migration in a spirit of genuine partnership and shared responsibility, in full respect of national law, international law and human rights obligations to maximise the development potential for both Africa and Europe.


  1. We welcome progress in the respect for democratic principles, human rights, rule of law and good governance. The integrity of elections, abiding by national constitutions, are important democratic parameters. We recognize the need to increase confidence in democratic processes and will pursue our cooperation on effective, inclusive and accountable governance at all levels and on combatting corruption. We recognize that our civil society, media and democratic institutions have an important role to play;

  2. Good governance is also critical role in creating an enabling environment for attracting investments, therefore we are determined to strengthen the mobilization and effective use of domestic resources as agreed in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. We commend the efforts of AU Member States in promoting domestic resources mobilization and better management for Africa’s sustainable development.

Climate change and natural resources management

  1. We are committed to the full implementation of the Paris Agreement and Marrakech Action Plan adopted in COP22, taking into account the commitments on climate finance made in Copenhagen (2009) with a target of reaching USD 100 billion per year by 2020, to support developing countries in responding to climate change. We also commit to invest in climate change mitigation and adaptation, disaster risk management and reduction, as well as in the sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems. To this end, we commit to undertaking joint efforts, also at the global level. We note the importance of energy efficiency and the development of renewable energy, and we will support the African Initiative on Renewable Energy (AREI) and deepen our strategic alliance through the AU-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP).

Strategic Priorities

  1. For the period leading up to the next Summit our strategic priorities will be:
  • Investing in people – education, science, technology and skills development;
  • Strengthening Resilience, Peace, Security and Governance;
  • Migration and mobility
  • Mobilizing Investments for African structural sustainable transformation
  1. We will build on the results already achieved by our partnership since 2007. We note the important policies developed since then: the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the principle of leaving no one behind, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, the AU 2063 agenda, the Nairobi Outcome document on development effectiveness as well as the EU’s Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy and the new European Consensus on Development. They will all guide our future work and we express our commitment to their effective implementation. We will also build on these as well on the principles and values of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement among others, in any upcoming negotiations and conclusion of a successor framework to this agreement. This is a unique opportunity to put the relationship between Africa and Europe on an enlarged footing and developing a deeper level of partnership radiating onto the global arena;

  2. We commit to implement the agreed provision stipulated under the elaborated joint strategic priority areas, as below.

Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Mechanisms

  1. We strongly commit to mobilize financial and technical resources to support the joint priority projects for using appropriately integrated instruments and mechanisms in the context of the unique relationship between Africa and EU, notably in terms of trade, investment, development and peace and security.

  2. We note and encourage the efforts by EU Member States to collectively achieve the target of 0.7% of GNI to be devoted to Official Development Assistance. We note and encourage efforts by AU Member States to follow up on the African Union Summit Decision of introducing a levy of 0.2% on eligible imports for the financing of the Union. We further welcome increased domestic revenue efforts;

  3. We reiterate our determination to give a new impetus to our Partnership through the establishment of effective and inclusive joint mechanisms and structures, which include annual Joint Ministerial meetings;

  4. We request the two Commissions to develop an action plan, within three months of adoption of this declaration, which would involve them holding working level meetings to identify projects and programs within the AU-EU Joint Priority areas of cooperation that both sides agree to implement, and to establish a joint follow-up mechanism.

Final Provisions

  1. We will meet again at our Sixth Summit in a European Union country;

  2. We express our profound gratitude to the President of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, His Excellency Mr. Alassane Ouattara, and to the Ivorian Government and people for the warm reception, hospitality and excellent organisation of the 5th African Union – European Union Summit.

Joint Strategic Priority Area Three (3)

Mobilising investments for African structural transformation

  1. We express our strong and unambiguous political will to boost joint efforts to advance economic transformation and development, with the objective of creating inclusive and sustainable growth and more and better jobs, especially for youth and women, in respect of internationally agreed labour standards and decent working conditions;

  2. We commit to promoting responsible and sustainable public and private capital, and to that effect we welcome the launch of the European External Investment Plan, as an integral financing mechanism to crowd in investments from financial institutions and the private sector, which will complement other similar de-risking instruments. This will focus on value-adding, human investment and skills sectors with the highest potential for sustainable job creation and low-emissions climate resilient and sustainable development, such as agriculture, agro-business, manufacturing, the ocean economy, the circular economy, sustainable energy and digitalization, thereby assisting African countries to implement their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement;

  3. We also fully acknowledge that there is a need to make greater efforts to establish the right business framework to attract responsible and sustainable investment. We will foster our effort for entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized enterprises, and start-ups, including a particular focus on women, including ecosystem builders in Africa, in line with the Strategy for Accelerated Industrial Development in Africa (AIDA) and the First Five Year Priority Programme on Employment, Poverty Eradication and Inclusive Development (2016-2020);

  4. We will seize the opportunities of technological development and the digital economy, notably by exchanging on measurable ICT policy, legal and regulatory frameworks including cyber-security and biometrics, by supporting investments in digital infrastructure, and mainstreaming digitalization as an enabler to increase efficiency and effectiveness of interventions in all sectors;

  5. We will foster European and Africa business relations, notably by establishing a structured dialogue with the European and African private sector and further strengthening mutually beneficiary EU-Africa trade relations. In particular, we will ensure that AU-EU Trade arrangements are complementary and supportive to the African Union trade and structural transformation agenda especially now as it gears towards implementing a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA);

  6. We will continue to promote intra-Africa trade and advance greater economic integration, notably by further developing sustainable connectivity, building on the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), NEPAD programmes and the AU Agenda 2063 flagship projects, NEPAD Presidential Infrastructure Champion Initiative (PICI). We will also continue to promote the full implementation of the 1999 Yamoussoukro Decision with a view to establishing and strengthening a single Africa Air Transport Market;

  7. We commit to deliver on the implementation of the African Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI), including by supporting the deepening of the partnership between the European and African private sectors, as well as the engagement of the public and private sectors of both continents in order to boost investment in sustainable energy generation and energy access in Africa in both urban and rural areas;

  8. We commit to support the AU Business Plan for Implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP)-Malabo Declaration 2017-2021 and other broad areas of agreements as obtained in the AU-EU Agriculture ministers’ conference of July 2017 in order to promote Africa’s agricultural production and productivity, with due attention to the environmental and social dimensions of sustainability, as well as build agribusiness and agro value chains. We will work together to seize market opportunities for African food production and sustainable social and ecological livelihoods, notably through development of sustainable and fair value chains, and through the applicable EU Trade arrangements. To this end, we will build capacities to access to markets focusing on young farmers, small holders and family farmers, support partnership frameworks, strengthen AU-EU agriculture business relations through an AU-EU Agribusiness platform and promote the full implementation of EPAs. In addition, we will enhance vocational training and education in sustainable agriculture and agri-food entrepreneurial activities, as well as support the implementation of the AU Continental Strategy to develop Geographical Indications (GI) in Africa;

  9. We will improve maritime knowledge and the development of the sustainable blue economy, in line with the 2050 Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy (2050 AIM Strategy).


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