This report published by the European Think Tanks Group (ETTG) is the outcome of a partnership initiative launched in 2021 by ETTG and the Africa-based Institute for Security Studies (ISS), with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). This initiative seeks to advance Africa-Europe relations in the run-up to the 6th EU-AU summit in Brussels (February 17-18, 2022) and contribute to effective follow-up and implementation of the decisions taken there.
- Energy is key in Africa’s economic diversification and industrialization, and therefore also for AU-EU relations: this is what a shared narrative should focus on. Social innovations should not be overlooked and underinvested in AU-EU collaboration; they are crucial for the energy transition.
- AU-EU cooperation can add value in managing transitions and building capacity for long-term strategies towards green economies. The question should be less about “gas or no gas” and more focused on context related visions and timelines in line with Africa’s need for industrialization and the Paris Agreement.
- Investing in these institutional capacities needs long term finance in institutions for which the EU could play an important role. Against this backdrop, the AU and EU should also start discussions on how climate neutrality strategies will impact trade and new value chains. So far, fossil fuels constitute a large share of exports from Africa to Europe.
- Climate adaptation is not only a local issue, but also a macroeconomic concern, joint efforts are needed linking economic transformation, employment and the vulnerability of countries as a whole.
- Both Africa and Europe should push to achieve the Global Adaptation Goal and push for ambitious outcomes from the work programme. Europe should ensure it acts as an adaptation ally for Africa, supporting efforts that concretely address African adaptation needs.