The Organisation of African Unity (OAU)/African Union marked its 50th anniversary with series of events in Geneva

Geneva, Switzerland, 28-10-2013 — /EuropaWire/ — On 16 October, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU)/African Union marked its 50th anniversary with a series of events in Geneva.

The European Union reiterated its sincere congratulates to its African partners on this memorable day and looks forward to a continuous strong partnership, based on shared values and mutual interests. In addition to our long-standing development cooperation, the EU closely works together with Africa on a whole range of issues, including peace and security, agriculture and rural development, infrastructure and energy, research, ICTs,  space applications, migration and mobility. The two continents have also reinforced its cooperation on global issues such as environment and climate change and the fight against organized crime and terrorism.

The EU is the biggest trading and investment partner for Africa and remains its most important donor of development aid.

African countries received close to €24 billion of Official Development Assistance (ODA) from the EU in the period 2007–2012.

The EU-Africa relationship is further strengthened by a number of initiatives:

•    Safeguarding peace and security is essential to long-term progress and sustainable development. The strong determination of the AU to take responsibility for peace and security in Africa in its own hands has met considerable support by the EU from the onset, both politically and financially. The Africa-EU Partnership on peace and security has become a key area of cooperation in Africa-EU relations. It is supported by the African Peace Facility, a financial instrument that has provided since 2004 more than 1.1 bn. Euros of predictable funding to African-led peace support operations and capacity development, and underpins the intense political dialogue in the area of peace and security.

•    The Strategic Africa-EU Partnership does also address key components of democratic governance and human rights. These include local capacity strengthening; protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms; democratic principles, rule of law; tackling corruption and institutional development and reform, such as EU support to the African Governance Architecture. The EU recognizes in particular the AU’s work in the field of human rights and its efforts over the years to promote continuous and coherent human rights initiatives such as the Human Rights Strategy for Africa and the 5-year Action Plan. The EU is looking forward to the upcoming round of the EU – AU Human Rights Dialogue to take place in November this year.

•    The EU remains fully engaged with Africa to pursue and deepen the continent-to-continent policy dialogue, cooperation and joint action with a view to achieving the MDGs in all African countries

•    The EU-Africa Business Forum brings together entrepreneurs and public and private investors from Europe and Africa in order to discuss ways of improving the investment and business climate in the African region.

•    The upcoming 4th EU-African Summit in April 2014 will further strengthen bilateral cooperation and political dialogue between the two continents, promote shared interests and tackle common regional and global challenges within the Joint Africa-EU Strategy.




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