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Africa region: Europe-Sub-Saharan Africa Cooperation

Europe-Sub-Saharan Africa - An introduction to S&T Cooperation

The European Union has collaborated for over 25 years with the regions of Central, Southern and Eastern Africa, some Caribbean and Pacific States, collectively referred to as the ACP, under the successive Lomé Conventions. The new mechanism is the Cotonou Agreement, which takes greater account of the institutions and policies of individual countries.

The Cotonou Agreement brings together the 27 Member States of European Union and the European Commission and the three African, Caribbean and Pacific Regions (ACP) together. In the regional partnership with Africa all 48 Sub-Saharan African countries (including those of the Indian Ocean) are involved.

The S&T cooperation with ACP states targets the research agenda to find solutions to economic and social problems aimed at improving the quality of life and well-being of their people .

African countries have a somewhat mixed track record of participation in European Research Framework Programmes (FP). Those with more than 10 participations each in FP6 (2002-2006) were: Benin (11), Burkina Faso (21), Cameroon (11), Ethiopia (16), Ghana (19), Kenya (46), Mali (18), Mozambique (11), Niger (15), Senegal (37), Tanzania (29), Uganda (27) and Zambia (12).

Under regional cooperation programmes of the European Development Fund, some research capacity building has been supported in the past, mostly in the area of agriculture and livestock. European Member States also have bilateral cooperation with these countries and there tends to be a mutually reinforcing element between bilateral and bi-regional S&T cooperation supported at European level.

The Network for the Coordination and Advancement of Sub-Saharan Africa-EU Science and Technology cooperation (CAAST-Net)

CAAST-Net is a new, four-year joint Africa-Europe platform created under the INCO Programme in the Capacities Programme in FP7 (2007-2013) and started in January 2008. This INCO-Net is dedicated to advancing bi-regional (African / European) cooperation in science and technology. It regroups partners of Africa and Europe.

On 6 June 2008, the coordinator of the CAAST-Net partners was invited at the AUC Headquarters in Addis Ababa to present the structure and activities of CAAST-Net. The aim was to identify possible synergies given the relevance of CAAST-Net for the Consolidated Action Plan (CPA) and the 8th Partnership between the EU and the AU. The main meeting issues were:

  • The AUC-Human Resources Science and Technology (HRST) Dpt. will be systematically invited at the CAAST-Net meetings and receive all relevant documentation and reports at the early stage of their preparation;
  • HRST will provide the information, suggestions and comments to the CAAST-Net group and will invite CAAST-Net representatives to attend the activities considered relevant for the 8 th Partnership on Science, Information Society and Space;
  • The HRST Dpt. named one of its officers to follow the activities of CAAST-Net.

Sources: and notes taken at the meeting.



Frameworks for bi-regional cooperation