African Union - EU cooperation
The African Union (AU), a continental organisation which brings together 55 countries, works towards a peaceful, prosperous and integrated continent. It aims to end hunger and halve poverty, through promoting inclusive growth and sustainable development, among others. The rural economy and agriculture are the source of livelihood for 70% of the African population, thus playing a fundamental role to achieve these goals.
At the forefront of the Africa-EU partnership the political dialogue on agriculture among ministers is gaining ground. The AU-EU agriculture ministerial conferences in Noordwijk in July 2016 and in Rome in July 2017 have introduced a new logic to EU-Africa relations, based on the principle of promoting policy dialogue between equal partners in development. The third ministerial conference took place in Rome on 21 June 2019, where both Unions committed to further strengthening the partnership in food and farming. This was supported by the co-signature of a political declaration and an action agenda.
Strengthening international cooperation also features prominently on the global agenda in the context of G7 and G20 processes, which have gained a strong focus on development in Africa.
European external investment plan
The EU and AU are collaborating to facilitate responsible investments in Africa, to contribute to food security, and to bring growth and jobs both in Europe and in Africa. The European external investment plan, which helps boosting investment in partner countries, has a specific section dedicated to agriculture.
Task force rural Africa
The European Commission has set up the Task force rural Africa to further strengthen the EU-AU partnership in food and farming. The task force published its policy recommendations in an executive report in March 2019.