The postponement of the 6th AU-EU Political Summit and the 7th EU-Africa Business Forum that were scheduled to take place in Brussels in October 2020 are some of the consequences of the pandemic on the dynamics of the partnership.
The European Business Council for Africa (EBCAM) recently highlighted the urgent need to fix new dates for the two events with a letter to the European External Action Service and the European Commission. We welcome the conclusions of the European Council Summit of 15-16 October regarding the commitment to address the impacts of the COVID-19 on the African countries by furthering international debt relief efforts and by working its African partners on specific areas (digital and knowledge economy, green transition, mobility, renewable energy, health and agri-food systems).
As the debate on the EU Africa partnership develops, and trying to enhance the public-private dialogue, EBCAM formulated a set of recommendations. Some key messages that we, as private sector representatives, believe are necessary towards a more dynamic relation with Africa are:
- Attracting more investors and boosting the business climate
- Creating strong partnerships and sustainable investment
- Debt relief for the developing and debt suspension for the poorest countries
- Review of the existing and creation of new, innovative financial instruments that will facilitate and strengthen the private sector
- Need to clarify the concerns about the EU Green Deal and more forward together towards a climate change crisis
- Opportunities and challenges of the AfCFTA for the private sector
- A strong public-private dialogue
The fight against the pandemic can only be confronted as part of a multilateral initiative through joint action and mutual exchange.