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27 November 2014
EU-Africa Health Research/Innovation Cooperation

CAAST-Net Plus globe

CAAST-Net Plus is organising a workshop "Niches to Enhance EU-Africa Health Research Cooperation" to discuss approaches to improving EU-Africa health research cooperation, focusing on the role of the private sector.

The meeting will coincide with the launch of EDCTP2 in Cape Town, South Africa, which is taking place from 1-3 December, 2014. The CAAST-Net Plus event is co-hosted by three project partners: the Council on Health Research for Development, South Africa’s Department of Science and Technology, and the Spanish Foundation for International Cooperation Health and Social Affairs.

Also on 3rd December, the CAAST-Net Plus Meeting on EU-Africa Health Research/Innovation Cooperation will home in on the bi-regional health research cooperation impact analysis research that the CAAST-Net Plus project is currently developing. In particular, selected African and European collaborative health research project coordinators will have the opportunity to share learning and experiences with CAAST-Net Plus in order to strengthen the impact analysis.

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6-8 October 2014
Progress made in developing an EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue roadmap with first focus on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture

Photo from the meeting EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue Expert Working Group

Since its endorsement by the Heads of State at the EU-Africa Summit 2014, a, EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) expert working group has been tasked to developing a roadmap towards creating a long-term jointly financed Research and Innovation Partnership with a first focus on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture.

The second meeting of the expert group took place in Addis Ababa, back-to-back with a meeting of the EU-Africa HLPD Bureau. Several policy-makers from European and African countries (Germany, Portugal, UK, Burkina Faso, Burundi, South Africa), as well as the EC’s DG Research and Innovation, DG Agriculture and Rural Development and DG Development and Cooperation, the AUC’s Human Resources Science and Technology Department, the Department (HRST) of Rural Economy and Agriculture (DREA) and the Forum for Agriculture Research in Africa (FARA) came together for a three day meeting with the European and African experts.

Great progress was achieved in developing the draft roadmap that is divided in two distinctive sections. One covering the ‘what’ of the partnership, with a current focus on three vertical pillars: sustainable intensification, agriculture and food systems for nutrition and expansion and improving agricultural markets and trade and one horizontal cross-cutting pillar: innovation, capacity-building and research infrastructures. A second section deals with the ‘how’ of the Partnerships and looks at current models and instruments, stakeholders and monitoring and evaluation.

The draft roadmap is expected to be ready in November after which an extensive consultation phase is planned by the EU-Africa HLPD Bureau. The final version of the roadmap is expected to be ready by April 2015.

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6-8 October 2014
Progress on defining EU-Africa Research and Innovation partnership on food & nutrition security and sustainable agriculture, Addis Ababa

Photo from the meeting EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue Expert Working Group , Kick-off meeting, 30 April 2014, Brussels

EU-Africa cooperation on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) s intended to strengthen knowledge-based societies and enhance the development and deployment of effective solutions for societal challenges of common concern, such as climate change, affordable renewable energy, infectious diseases or food & nutrition security.

EU-Africa cooperation on STI also contributes to reaching international commitments we have set ourselves such as the Millennium Development Goals and the future post-2015 agenda and sustainable development goals.

This cooperation is implemented largely through the EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) on science, technology and innovation which brings together the European Commission (EC), the African Union Commission (AUC) and their respective member states.

Having agreed to prioritise research and innovation on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture at its second plenary meeting in November 2013, a decision that was endorsed by the Heads of State at the 2014 EU-Africa Summit, the HLPD recently established a group of 10 experts from Europe and Africa (Helena Gómez Macpherson, Philippe Petithuguenin, Joachim von Braun, Luís Goulão and Jeff Waage from Europe and Johnson A Ekpere, Paco Sereme, Daniel Nkoola Kisauzi, Ibrahim RM Benesi, Mohammed Jeenah from Africa) to work on a roadmap towards this EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership on an ambitious theme.

The group of expert has met several times over the past few months and will meet again on 6-8 October at the headquarters of the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa to further develop the roadmap.

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16-18 September 2014
ERAfrica Conference, Pretoria (South Africa)

ERAfrica Logo

The ERAfrica initiative brings together African and European funders of research and innovation, with the objective to develop a new funding programme for cooperation between Africa and Europe in science and technology. The closing conference will showcase the existing results of this programme and the projects in sustainable development, renewable energy and other scientific disciplines being co-funded by Africa and Europe.


22 May 2014
Towards a jointly funded and co-owned EU-Africa research and innovation partnership with first focus on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture.


2-3 April 2014
EU-Africa Summit, Brussels


31 March - 1 April 2014
EU-Africa Business Forum, Brussels


Policy background

The EU-Africa summit, held in December 2007 in Lisbon, concluded a new Africa-EU strategic partnership, marking a qualitative leap in relations between the two continents. The Joint Africa-EU Strategy provides an overarching long-term framework for Africa-EU relations, while its first action plan specifies concrete proposals for 2008-2010, structured along eight (8) Africa-EU strategic partnerships. Rather than creating new instruments, the existing ones will have to be streamlined to finance the new partnerships.

Africa is the continent where the scientific and digital divides are the widest. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) identify the essential role of science and technology for socio-economic transformation. Investments in African scientific capacities have not been prioritized and the continent is loosing some of its best scientific and technical expertise to other regions. It is in this context that the Africa Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action was developed, consolidating the African Union (AU) Commission and New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) programmes related to science and technology capacity building, knowledge production and technological innovation.

The MDGs also identify information and communication technologies (ICTs) as key enablers for poverty reduction and growth. Although ICTs are multi-sectoral tools for socioeconomic development, a dedicated coherent strategy needs to be implemented in order to develop an inclusive information society in Africa. It is on these principles, and in the context of World Summit on Information Society, that the African Regional Action Plan for Knowledge Economy (ARAPKE), an AU initiative, was developed.

Space applications provide, by their very nature, an effective platform to address problems from a regional perspective. The use of space science for development in Africa presents considerable opportunities, and there is a need to establish institutional arrangements to enable Africa to tap their benefits. Space-based systems can play a key enabling role in the attainment of Africa's sustainable development objectives and contribute to the monitoring of climate change.


Regional RTD Cooperation

Bridging the digital and scientific divide within African countries and between Africa and other regions, as well as fostering cooperation on space applications and technology to support Africa's sustainable development objective underlie the Africa-EU Partnership on Science, Information Society and Space ("The 8th Partnership").

The 8th Partnership can build on the achievements of past collaborative activities under previous Research Framework Programmes, the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), activities by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the Commission as well as some capacity building, mostly at sub-regional level, afforded by regional indicative programmes under earlier European Development Funds (EDF). Efforts to increase coherence and synergies between the different efforts, together with those of EU Member States and other partners of Africa, are on-going.  By implementing  the 8th Partnership, ongoing and future S&T are facilitated by the FP7 thematic programmes as well as by the EDF. A first set of projects have been agreed in implementation of the 8th Partnership.

Nineteen (19) projects have been identified as proper initiatives for the implementation of the 8th Partnership: 12 projects in the area of Science, 5 projects in the area of Information Society and 2 projects in the area of Space. As "early" deliverables, six (6) projects have been selected for financing under the FP7 and EDF programmes.

In the regional partnership with Africa, all 48 Sub-Saharan African countries are involved. The EU has a positive track record of scientific cooperation with African teams from across the continent mobilizing local scientists and helping to strengthen the local RTD potential thus promoting excellence for both regions. The S&T cooperation with ACP states targets  solutions to Africa's economic and social problems.



Frameworks for bi-regional cooperation


  • Mapping of best practice regional and multi-country cooperative STI initiatives between Africa and Europe
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