Africa-Europe Alliance: Better transport and mobility between Africa and the European Union
Today, the Africa Transport and Connectivity Task Force, which is part of the 'Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs', delivered its final report. The conclusions of this group of African and European experts offer concrete recommendations and conclusions on three important areas of transport cooperation: aviation, road safety and connectivity.
Commissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean said: “Greener, safe, secure and efficient transport and mobility between both our continents opens the door to so many opportunities for Africa, our close neighbour, and for Europe. I therefore welcome the conclusions and recommendations of the Report of the Task Force. We are committed to implementing them all.”
Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen added: “The European Union is committed to building close links between our two continents in order to unlock the full potential of our partnership with Africa. Improved connectivity and modern infrastructure is crucial for sustainable development and for providing a bright future to the continent’s talented and dynamic youth. Our next task is to translate the recommendations of the Task Force into concrete actions, so that both African and European citizens can benefit from them.”
The Transport Task Force recommends:
- On Connectivity and Infrastructure, the report builds its recommendations along the key pillars of sector policy and sustainability, smart and multi-modal corridor development and investment promotion. This will fundamentally support the creation of enabling sector, incentivise the involvement of the private sector and scale-up the innovative funding needed. The report further highlights the need to move towards integrated, smart, multi-modal corridor approaches with the objective to reap the full potential of digitalisation as well as linking urban corridors to such concepts.
- On Road Safety, the report brings forward thirteen concrete recommendations to reduce road crash injuries. African road traffic death rates are the highest in the world and more than four times higher than the European average. The recommendations address five main priority areas, namely road safety management and data collection, infrastructure safety, vehicle safety, safety of road users and post-crash care.
- On Aviation, the report includes ten initiatives to unlock economic growth and foster air mobility in Africa, reflecting on the challenges and opportunities to make this a reality. Africa’s main challenge is the lack of effective air connectivity among countries in the continent. The initiative to launch a Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), a common African aviation market, presents a possibility to increase connectivity, enforce social cohesion, open markets and enhance a sustainable development of African airlines.
The Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs proposed by the European Commission in 2018 seeks to drive forward intercontinental cooperation on an equal footing. The African Union and the European Union are committed enhancing a mutually beneficial partnership. The taskforce and strengthening transport cooperation is one of the pillar of the Alliance.
Strengthening transport connectivity between Africa and EU and within Africa is among the key objectives of the Alliance, which ultimately envisages the provision of sustainable, credible and viable investment in efficient and sustainable transport infrastructure providing safe and intermodal mobility.
In early 2019, the Africa-Europe Alliance Transport Taskforce was launched to exchange views and deliver recommendations to enhance transport cooperation. The main purpose is to prioritize actions for cooperation on connectivity networks, thus inducing cross-border integration, sustainable development and safe and effective mobility of goods and people. This taskforce was co-chaired by the then European Commissioners for Transport and International Parntership (Ms Violeta Bulc and Mr Neven Mimica) as well as the African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, Dr Amani Abou-Zeid.
The Taskforce held various meetings involving countries, international organisations, stakeholders, civil society, donors and international financial institutions during the period from January to July 2019 in order to deliver tailor-made recommendations.