In preparation for the 5th Summit of Heads of State and Government of Africa and the European Union, representatives of European Union and African economic and social stakeholders came together in Abidjan on 16 and 17 November 2017 at a meeting organised jointly by the Economic, Social, Environmental and Cultural Council (CESEC) of Côte d’Ivoire and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) with the support of the European Commission. The participants aligned their stances on the partnership between Africa and Europe with a view to submitting a contribution to the forthcoming Summit of Heads of State and Government on 29 and 30 November.
The conclusions of the economic and social stakeholders' meeting were summarised in a declaration, which addresses the following key issues:
Within the key issue of the contribution of economic and social stakeholders to future AU-EU relations the declaration calls for a regular cooperation with youth organisations and representatives, with a special focus on the needs of girls and young women. Likewise, the participants consider it essential for economic and social stakeholders to make a structured, regular contribution to the EU-Africa strategy. With regard to the importance of agriculture and the agri-food sector to transform Africa the conclusions of the meeting call on governments to support small-scale farming and local and regional supply chains in the agricultural sector. Moreover, the representatives call for specific vocational training programmes aimed at young farmers to be stepped up as part of integrated rural development policies. Within the third key domain of education and boosting young people’s skills the final document calls for the movement of young skilled workers to be allowed and for greater recognition and development of migrant workers’ skills and qualifications. It is also recommended to adopt policies and programmes that help fight potential brain drain and encourage skilled workers to return to and reintegrate into their country of origin. Finally, with regard to strategies to support the development of green economies the declaration calls on the development partners to support the specific programmes encouraging a fair and even-handed transition to low carbon economies financially, continuing to work together with local authorities.
For more information
Read more on the European Economic and Social Committee website
To visit the official website of the 5th AU-EU Summit, click here.
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