Hosted by the SOLIDAR members Forum for International Cooperation (FIC) and SOLIDARITÉ Laïque, acting as SOLIDAR sub-regional coordinators in Western, Eastern and Southern Africa, the SOLIDAR Africa Regional Exchange took place from October 30th to November 16th 2020.
57 participants representing trade unions and NGOS from 22 African and European countries met online, to discuss the main challenges to the realisation of economic and social rights in Africa, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to identify existing good practises in this regards and to develop ideas for joint advocacy and campaign actions at country, regional and global levels.
With an estimated two million people infected by COVID-19 and about 50.000 deaths, the pandemic has not only affected people’s life and health: over the last months, participants have witnessed how the pandemic has been used - both in Africa and in Europe - to reduce the space for independent NGOs and Trade Unions to act, putting into question labour rights. At the same time, participants also raised concerns about the risk of a new push for austerity policies, that will affect the most vulnerable groups of the population - such as migrant people and women - and that will further destabilise countries.
In this context, and with the EU Africa Summit expected to define the partnership priorities between the European Union and the African countries, the ongoing programming for the 2021-2027 period, participants have developed a shared vision on how to build an EU-Africa sustainable partnership based on: