This high-level African Union – European Union Conference was organised at the initiative of Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz as President of the Council of the European Union and President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, in his capacity as President of the African Union. This is in the context of the implementation of the resolutions adopted at the European Council on 28 June and the advancement of the African Single Market for innovation and digital technology.
This Forum also follows the Abidjan Summit from 29 to 30 November 2017 on the themes of youth, education, security and economic relations between the two continents.
This Forum brought together European and African political leaders such as the President of the European Union Commission, Mr Jean Claude Juncker, and the President of the African Union Commission, Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat, as well as African Presidents (Ethiopia, Egypt, Ghana, the Prime Minister of Finland, the President of the World Bank, to name but a few, the CEOs of global companies such as Siemens, innovation champions, start-ups, diplomatic representations and other relevant actors.
The Chargé d’affaires a.i. and a Counsellor from the Embassy of Madagascar in Berlin also participated, accompanied by the Honorary Consul of Madagascar in Austria.
It is with a view to the effective implementation of the above-mentioned themes that discussion panels, round tables on youth education, e-governance, urban connectivity, energy, 21st century jobs, etc. were scheduled during the day.
The day was a Forum for reflection on the necessary measures to ensure prospérity and compétitiveness on both Continents and to deepen the partnership in the areas of trade and technological exchange, while stressing their importance for economic growth, job creation opportunities, the building of resilient societies and the achievement of sustainable development objectives. To this end, some African countries, including Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana and Rwanda, have already undertaken in-depth reforms to attract foreign direct investors, particularly in the field of digitalization of administrations and energy. Traditional donors have also pledged to make an additional contribution towards a “100% digital penetration rate” by 2030.
Madagascar, with a very young and digitally talented population, has enormous potential and will benefit from following in the footsteps of its African peers.