African and European leaders at the EU-Africa Summit in Brussels, 2014. The balance sheet of the forum since its inauguration in 2000 shows that not much has been achieved in the form of a mutually-beneficial partnership especially / Photo: © The European Union

African, European leaders meet in Vienna

Leaders from Africa are meeting their European counterparts at the Africa-Europe High-Level Forum in Vienna.

The 2-day meeting (17-18 December), with the theme  “Taking cooperation to the digital age”, aims at assessing “how current partnerships between Africa and Europe contribute to this goal, complementing the ongoing implementation of the joint declaration of the 2017 Abidjan Summit between the African Union and the European Union.”

“The High-Level Forum will promote innovation and digitalisation as important enablers of our future development, so that everyone can benefit from the ongoing digital transformation. It aims at assessing how current partnerships between Africa and Europe contribute to this goal,” the Austrian presidency of the EU, which is organizing the meeting, said.

“The High-Level Forum will highlight the untapped potential for deepening the partnership in technology exchange and trade as well as their importance for economic growth, creating employment opportunities, building resilient societies and fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The African and European leaders would also highlight the “importance of unlocking the potential of the digital economy for Africa and Europe. It also aims at contributing to the Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs.”

Among African leaders attending the meeting are President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, who is the current chairman of the African Union, and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo of Nigeria.

Osinbajo will use the opportunity of his trip to hold a town-hall meeting with the Nigerian community in Austria.

Sola Jolaoso

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