Affiliated organization: Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Africa-Europe Foundation, Friends of Europe
Site of publication: Africa-Europe Foundation
Type of publication: Policy Brief
Date of publication: March 4th, 2022
Health and digital transformation
Africa’s vaccine market is today worth $1.3 billion, and expected to grow to approximately $2.4 billion by 2030, yet currently Africa produces only 1% of the vaccines ‘consumed’ on the continent.
The 2021 HLG Report examined in detail the failure of the international community in providing African populations with access to COVID-19 vaccines, and highlighted not only how there is a need to build manufacturing and distribution capacity for vaccines and medicines in Africa, but the opportunity that creating this infrastructure would bring, not only for improved healthcare, but overall human development, local jobs and business opportunities.
In various African countries, private delivery models have emerged which combine task shifting, evidence-based protocolised care with digital support – some of which are based on telemedicine. These models can realise superior quality at lower costs and greater access.
Africa’s vaccine market is today worth $1.3 billion, and expected to grow to approximately $2.4 billion by 2030, yet currently Africa produces only 1% of the vaccines ‘consumed’ on the continent
A complete health systems lens needs to be applied in the context of health labour market considerations, and the observatory will advocate for governments and international bodies to adopt necessary changes to modify their health systems.
Climate change and energy transitions
Last year’s COP26 highlighted how far apart both continents are when it comes to the agenda for the Green Transition.
The AEF recommends addressing climate change and development issues as one and the same, rather than separate goals and solutions. Mitigation, adaptation and resilience strategies that speak to the climate change agenda cannot be addressed without also redressing pressing issues such as poverty, inequality and the need for inclusive economic growth.
The Africa-Europe Anchor Demand for Energy Programme is an EU-AU led programme to anchor large renewable generation investments in African countries and provide secure sources of low- carbon energy and commodities to both Europe and Africa.
Whilst all sectors will play their part, the AEF recognises the need for an African government-led approach to action. Core priorities for governments include setting up clean-cooking ‘delivery units’ within governments to coordinate efforts, and to include clean-cooking plans. The other key aspect to the success of clean- cooking in Africa is the enabling environment.
Agriculture and sustainable development
An agri-food partnership between Europe and Africa should be centred around food sovereignty, a concept referring to the right of people to decide their own food systems, to provide healthy and nutritious food grown in their locality, and to practise climate- appropriate agriculture and agroecology.
With approximately 33 million farms under 2 hectares producing up to 70% of the food supply, African farming could be a pioneering example for the difference food sovereignty can make to the public health, climate impact, and economic development.
An agri-food partnership between Europe and Africa should be centred around food sovereignty, a concept referring to the right of people to decide their own food systems, to provide healthy and nutritious food grown in their locality, and to practise climate- appropriate agriculture and agroecology
One nature-based solution is the Great Green Wall (GGW), an African-led approach to the climate-development nexus launched in 2007. Aiming to combat desertification and land degradation, sequester 250 million tons of carbon and create 10 million rural jobs by 2030, the initiative is an example of the holistic approach to climate change and development.
Youth economic inclusion and mobility
The new dynamic for Africa-Europe relations cannot ignore the demographic trends of the two continents, both Europe’s aging population and Africa’s youth bulge.
For many businesses in Africa, it is often easier to employ a skilled non- African expatriate than a skilled African expatriate, due to visa restrictions. Due to freedom of movement, EU citizens can reside and work in any other EU country, and programmes like Erasmus+ offer incentives for educational mobility.
This has reduced overall interest and nurtured growing distrust from citizens of both continents regarding the usefulness and effectiveness of an Africa-Europe partnership, amidst growing competition for African potential resources and geo-political weight
Public policies aimed at youth focus either on fostering economic development models that require young talent or restricting the youth who oppose political elites.
The Young Africa-Europe Voices, a capacity building initiative with both offline and online elements, would allow emerging leaders in Africa and Europe to build a specialised skills-set to lead across divides, promote the role of cultural diversity in innovative and collaborative problem-solving and allow a free exchange of knowledge and expertise for a beneficial partnership.
Strategic monitoring and governance
With few mechanisms in place to trace how high-level commitments made at summits translate into tangible change, accountability over delivery is difficult. This has reduced overall interest and nurtured growing distrust from citizens of both continents regarding the usefulness and effectiveness of an Africa-Europe partnership, amidst growing competition for African potential resources and geo-political weight.
The Africa-Europe Foundation has been asked to leverage its independence, analysis and outreach capacity and multi-stakeholder “platform of platforms” DNA to strengthen the partnership through a strategic monitoring function that would catalyse impact. AEF will ensure a holistic approach to monitoring real progress in the various domains of the partnership.
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