The 5th Edition of the Africa-European Union Summit is billed to hold in Abidjan, the capital city of Ivory Coast Tuesday 28-Wednesday 29 November, 2017.

The Slovakian Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Amb. Peter Holasek, disclosed this during a Breakfast Meeting with Diplomatic Watch at his Residence in Abuja, noting that the Summit will also present an excellent opportunity for Africa-EU to further strengthen both continents partnership to address common challenges and opportunities.

According to Holasek, the Summit will also serve to build upon the continuing dialogue on peace and security, development, creating a better future for Africa’s youth, migration and the fight against terrorism.
The international context and EU-Africa relations are constantly evolving, presenting new challenges and opportunities. Since the historic first Africa-EU Summit in Cairo in 2000, where the Africa-EU partnership framework was established, considerable change has taken place on both continents, which challenge the way Africa and Europe perceive each other.

The Africa-EU Partnership is adapting to these changing realities through constant formal dialogue between African and European counterparts at different levels:

Recall that EU-Africa Summits of Heads of States and Governments take place every three years alternatively in Africa and Europe. These Summits take stock of the progress made in the implementation of commitments made and provide political guidance for further work.

The fourth and most recent EU-Africa Summit took place in Brussels on 2-3 April 2014 to discuss the future relationship between the EU and Africa relations and to foster the cooperation under the theme of ‘Investing in People, Prosperity and Peace’. Topics included education and training, women and youth, legal and illegal migrant flows between both continents, ways to stimulate growth and create jobs, investing in peace and ways to enhance EU support for African capacities to manage security on the continent.

Being the 5th Edition, Diplomatic Watch gathered that the central theme for the Summit will be ‘Youth’, which has become a key priority for Europe, as well as Africa, in a context of African demographic trends creating major challenges for young people in terms of migration, security and employment.

On 4 May 2017, the European Commission and the European Union External Action (EEAS) issued a Joint Communication that sets out the vision and strategic interests of the EU in a reinforced partnership with Africa, according to RINEA project. 

The statement read: “2017 is a defining year for the partnership between Europe and Africa. In a rapidly changing global landscape, Africa is experiencing profound economic, political and societal changes, and its importance to the internal and external dimensions of Europe’s security and prosperity is becoming ever more obvious. Europe and Africa have much to gain from increased political and economic ties, but also a lot to lose if they fail to act.