Unlike previous strategies, the new EU-Africa Strategy has been created not for Africa but with Africa, which is a true manifestation of close cooperation. For the European Union, the partnership with Africa should create an economic relationship that is based on equality, trust, shared values, and the genuine desire to build lasting relations. If Africa is doing well, Europe is doing well”, stated Janina Ochojska MEP ahead of today’s vote on the EU-Africa Strategy in Parliament’s Development Committee, that she spearheaded on behalf of the EPP Group.
The Report being voted on is Parliament’s response to the plans for a new, comprehensive EU-Africa Strategy, and to the upcoming EU-Africa Summit, planned later in 2021. The EPP Group wants an ambitious partnership, based on values and shared responsibilities, benefiting both Africa and the EU. “We need to engage in a true partnership with those countries who strive for good governance, respect the rule of law, democracy, human rights, peace and security”, explained Ochojska.
Ochojska highlighted that every month, about one million Africans enter the local job markets while lacking education or skills to match demands. “Within the next 15 years, some 375 million young people are expected to reach working age. If we want to lift this continent out of poverty we need to empower young people by providing them with education, training and skills and prepare them for the new opportunities and challenges of tomorrow’s labour market. Human development and youth must be at the heart of this strategy”, she said.
Environmental crises and health are two other areas Parliament wants to prioritise in EU-Africa relations. “Migration and forced displacement triggered by climate change and environmental degradation will continue to pose both challenges and opportunities for the two continents. Well-managed migration and mobility can have a positive impact on countries of origin and destination”, concluded Ochojska.