Five alternatives to the EU narrative on the EU-Africa partnership

Ahead of the Africa-EU Summit taking place in Abidjan at the end of November during which a Joint Africa-EU strategy will be adopted, SOLIDAR wants to highlight key considerations for this partnership to succeed in putting forward peace, prosperity, the planet and the people.

Following these lines, CONCORD has developed five alternatives to EU narrative on the EU-Africa partnership, which SOLIDAR fully supports. SOLIDAR agrees that

  1. The EU narrative should look at migration as a positive force for development, and at migrants and refugees as development actors with a potentially positive role to play in development. Global development across the ages has never been possible without migrants and their contribution. Moreover, the EU should focus its efforts on tackling forced migration and displacement, the really problematic area of migration. This means addressing all possible factors and drivers that force people to leave their homes and communities and engage in unsafe migration, such as conflict, climate change, inequality, poverty and governance failures.
  2. The EU should prioritise human security and human rights above border control. Spending ODA on migration management and supporting security forces in the region diverts funding away from people-centred sustainable development, as funds no longer go to addressing the drivers of fragility, but rather the symptoms.
  3. The EU should adopt a more critical stance when using ODA to promote private investment as there is little evidence that leveraging European companies’ investment in poor Sub-Saharan states will deliver decent jobs and services for the poorest people in a sustainable way, nor that the private sector will invest in fragile contexts in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  4. The EU and Member States should support developing countries in their fight against corporate tax avoidance and should ensure greater transparency in tax payments by multinational companies in various countries.
  5. The EU should invest in systems to ensure that all children have access to health care, adequate nutrition and quality basic education in their formative childhood years to make sure that adolescents and young adults are equipped to make the most of Technical and Vocational Education Training opportunities when they arise.

In July, the Africa-EU Civil Society Forum took place in Tunis gathering 80 representatives of civil society organisations, including SOLIDAR members, during which the Africa-EU Civil Society Forum declaration was adopted.