Shifting from an aid-based approach to one grounded in cooperation and exchange of expertise can transform the relationship between Africa and Europe into a true partnership of equals, argued Amujae Leader Malado Kaba.
Ms. Kaba laid out her vision for the future of the African continent’s relationship with Europe in a discussion with Inge Kaul, a Senior Fellow at Berlin’s Hertie School, hosted by the Center for Global Development (CGD).
Looking back at the summit between the European Union (EU) and the African Union (AU), the discussion saw Ms. Kaba provide her assessment of the gathering’s outcomes. Africa could have played a bigger role in setting the agenda, defining clear objectives, and assessing common strategies and policies, she said. The recent summit was a “missed opportunity” for Africa to steer the relationship with Europe towards “a more diverse cooperation,” she added.
Given Europe’s breadth of skills, knowledge, and expertise—particularly in relation to research, innovation, and technology—a partnership of equals means that cooperation can extend to new areas that can help Africa overcome its challenges. Ms. Kaba argued that African leaders should strive to reach this outcome at the next summit:
“What matters at the end of the day is to reach objectives and to ultimately impact the lives of the populations on the continent.”
The discussion, moderated by W. Gyude Moore, CGD Senior Policy Fellow and Liberia’s former Minister of Public Works, concluded with a remark by Ms. Kaba on the importance of the longstanding relationship between Europe and Africa. The EU, she said, is “one of the partners that can make a difference.”
Listen to the discussion on the CGD podcast here: https://www.cgdev.org/blog/lagos-mombasa-was-au-eu-summit-success