The European Business Council for Africa

Introducing the EU-CONNEX Partnership

The CONNEX Initiative ( provides support to governments of developing countries in complex resource contract negotiations. This allows for informed decisions, better deals and long-lasting partnerships with the investor.

The resource sector offers great potential for economic development. Resource contracts are a crucial factor to assure that benefits can be realised. In many cases though, capacity and experiences asymmetries result in unfair deals with disadvantages for the host country,

Upon demand, the CONNEX initially successfully offers multi-disciplinary, high-quality and ad hoc support to our partner countries all over the globe. Providing for negotiations on a level playing field, it can support Governments to maximise the developmental impact of its resource abundance. 

The European Union just joined CONNEX as a strong partner. This engagement directly feeds into our efforts to boost investment in partner countries and the work for a more transparent and sustainable resource sector.

As Africa and Europe seek to re-set their partnership, Friends of Europe is engaging with our partners across both continents to understand the long-term vision and the converging and diverging priorities at the heart of this new cooperation.

Africa and Europe have a shared interest and much to gain from one another in accelerating the progress of the global agenda for sustainable development and peace, whilst working together to address the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through its “Debating Africa-EU” series, Friends of Europe is focused on engaging its partners and the new EU College of Commissioners around their vision and priorities for EU-Africa cooperation. In response to the Joint Communication Towards a comprehensive Strategy with Africa, this series serves as a consultative exercise for key stakeholders and partners from both continents to voice their perspectives on the future of the relationship. Following the first six in the series, the seventh ‘In Conversation With’ takes place on the 20th of January 2021 with Janez Lenarčič, European Commissioner for Crisis Management; Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative and Vice-President for A Stronger Europe in the World; and H.E. Amb. Abdoulaye Diop, Chief of Staff of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission. The strategic focus of the discussion will be on “A Stronger Alliance: Enhancing Resilience, Peace, and Security in the Africa-EU Partnership”.

Public development banks around the world can play a vital role in minimising economic decline, supporting recovery and financing structural transformation. To fulfil this role, they need to fully capture the interconnected and transversal nature of the 2030 Agenda and align their practices, operations and investments accordingly. It is not just a matter of marginally adjusting strategies and processes – public development banks need to deeply reshape behaviours and investment practices.A study carried out by the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (Iddri), points to examples of successful approaches –from PDBs of different sizes and geographies– and, above all, shows that these financial institutions can be, under certain conditions, gateways to transformative SDG financing that promotes equitable and sustainable growth.The bottom line is that public development banks need to work harder to achieve a complete, comprehensive and systemic integration of the SDGs, permeating all of their activities. The above, hand in hand with their ability to work side-by-side with other stakeholders and private financial actors - through strategic partnerships, blended finance or other financial mechanisms like guarantees or green / SDG bonds.This event is co-organised in collaboration with the European Think Tanks Group (ETTG), which is a network of European independent think tanks working on EU international cooperation for global sustainable development.The baseline for discussion will be the study published by IDDRI “Scaling up public development banks’ transformative alignment with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.  As European Think Tanks we want to encourage discussions around the importance of aligning both policies and finance with the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs to chart a course towards inclusive, equitable and low carbon development.Therefore, the central objective of this panel is to facilitate an interactive dialogue where researchers and practitioners: 1) share their experience and expert knowledge on how public development banks are transforming their practices to align with the 2030 Agenda; 2) discuss how this alignment efforts could better link short-term needs -exacerbated by the current crisis- with long-term objectives; and 3) building on the experience on climate alignment, which are the concrete challenges that PDBs face to undertake SDG alignment in practice. 

EABF 2007 (Accra)       - Press Release

EABF 2009 (Nairobi)     - Press Release - Business Declaration

EABF 2010 (Tripoli)       - Business Declaration

EABF 2014 (Brussels)   - Business Declaration

EABF 2017 (Abidjan)     - Business Declaration

Under the initiative, participating companies worked to expand opportunities for women by making measurable, time-bound commitments specific to each company’s goals. They also participated in knowledge-exchange sessions on implementing gender innovations and contributed to thought leadership on how the digital economy can increase women’s access to jobs and assets—inspiring more companies to undertake efforts to correct the gender imbalance in the digital sector.

Through a series of case studies that draw on company commitments and other data from Digital2Equal members, the initiative highlights four approaches to building inclusive platforms for women: creating inclusive employment; collecting sex-disaggregated data; designing gender-inclusive products and services; and supporting communities and building ecosystems. The Digital2Equal case studies showcase a portion of the wide range of activities undertaken during the initiative—as well as newly developed programs to support COVID-19 responses and recovery.

Over the course of the initiative, Digital2Equal members worked to expand opportunities for women in the platform economy and looked into issues such as gender income gap and labour force segregation. This session shares examples from three Digital2Equal members based in Africa that show how companies can leverage disaggregated data to better understand their user bases, design better services for everyone, and to use data to inform delivery of impactful community initiatives.

In recent years, climate change has led to a decrease in the duration and frequency of the rainy season, causing severe changes in weather patterns (droughts, floods, etc.). These changes are having an increasingly destructive impact on the most vulnerable populations, sometimes leading to violent conflicts between communities whose livelihood depends on livestock and natural resources and their only short-term solution is to migrate in search of more fertile lands. 

The discussion will focus on the impacts of climate change on food security and livelihoods as well as the possible opportunities to overcome such challenges while building peace in Northern Kenya and other regions.

The current crisis presents a unique opportunity to address the systemic problem of excessive debt burdens of developing countries, while also making sure that investment flows into achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Achieving that would require innovative solutions and multilateral cooperation. The G20-Paris Club Debt Service Suspension Initiative adopted in April 2020 provided immediate liquidity to 46 countries of over 5bn for health, economic and social spending in the face of the pandemic emergency. But suspending debt payments will not be enough for many countries facing unsustainable debt situations. These countries need rapid, fair and effective debt restructuring, while maintaining access to sustainable financial flows. The conference will present proposals for achieving such debt restructurings, considering the complex and dispersed creditor landscape and the weaknesses in the international sovereign debt architecture.

The spread of COVID-19 has shown the vulnerabilities of the EU’s food supply chains. These weaknesses have tremendous implications in terms of health, environmental protection and human development, while causing negative externalities in third and developing countries. In this context, in May 2020, the European Commission published its Farm to Fork Strategy, a very ambitious document that is at the heart of the European Green Deal and that aims to lead transition towards more sustainable food systems within and outside of the Union. On the one hand, the implementation of the Farm to Fork Strategy will be crucial to make the EU’s food systems more resilient, by reducing their environmental footprint while promoting more sustainable and healthy diets. On the other hand, since the EU is the biggest importer and exporter of agri-food products and the largest seafood market in the world, it is likely that the Strategy will produce significant impacts on third countries. Hence, making the EU’s agri food chain more sustainable and fairer is a key challenge and opportunity to drive for change both at the regional and global level.

The event will allow the audience to look at the Strategy through broader lenses and to grasp the spill-over effects that its implementation can generate at the external level, in line with the goals set in the UN Agenda 2030. […]

Alors que l’épidémie du Covid-19 continue à se propager, les projets du programme ARCHIPELAGO adaptent leurs activités et leurs modalités de mise en œuvre pour continuer à soutenir la création d'emplois, à la fois qualitatifs et durables, dans les pays des régions du Sahel et Lac Tchad.
La pandémie met tous les acteurs des écosystèmes des projets de partenariat face à l’urgence des changements à entreprendre pour renforcer la résilience de nos écosystèmes et répondre aux nouveaux défis. 
Certaines activités des projets ont été modifiées tandis que la mobilisation des réseaux de partenaires et la mise en place d’outils numériques permettent aujourd’hui une diffusion rapide et complète des informations et une mise en œuvre des activités des projets. 
À cette crise sanitaire s´ajoutent les contraintes de type sécuritaire auxquelles font face plusieurs pays de la région du Sahel et du Lac Tchad. 
Le séminaire en ligne du 22 octobre s´adresse à tous les partenaires des consortiums des projets des 1er et 2ème appels à propositions du programme ARCHIPELAGO. Cinq projets présenteront leurs expériences et pistes de solutions pour amorcer et faciliter l´échange de bonnes pratiques et promouvoir des synergies. […]

Le séminaire en ligne présentera les mécanismes de financement de formation professionnelle et d´apprentissage en Afrique de l'Ouest. Il permettra également un dialogue entre les acteurs privés et publics pour des propositions concrètes en vue d'améliorer l'accès et l'utilisation des financements des fonds nationaux. Un panel composé de patronats, chambres consulaires et fonds nationaux de formation et d´apprentissage amorcera le débat.

«L’Enseignement et la Formation Techniques et Professionnels (EFTP) et son financement en Afrique de l’Ouest» est un événement public en ligne organisé par le programme ARCHIPELAGO, le programme VET Toolbox, LuxDev et le réseau RAFPRO. L’hébergement du séminaire sur la plateforme Zoom est assurée par EUROCHAMBRES, partenaire au sein du consortium du programme ARCHIPELAGO.[…]