Livestream signal of the conference "Civil Society Driving Change" on 16 October. Copyright: VENROThe conference “Civil Society Driving Change: Towards a New Quality of the Africa-Europe Partnership” takes place in Berlin and online on 16 October from 10:00am to 6:00pm. The livestream signal starts at 09:55am and runs the whole day. Check out the conference website for more information about the programme and the speakers.

The Africa-Europe Civil Society Conference 2020 will demonstrate in practical terms that the partnership between Africa and Europe is more than just a formal process between governments. With digital instruments enabling inclusive intercontinental cooperation even in times of a pandemic, the public can follow this unique African-European civil society exchange.

In 2021, the African and European Heads of State and Government will meet in Brussels to adopt a new strategy that guides the partnership between our two continents for the years to come. Although the AU-EU Summit was meant to take place this October and become a highlight of Germany’s EU Council Presidency, its postponement to next year provides the chance for civil society to set its own priorities for an inclusive, fair and sustainable partnership.

The policy fields in which Africa and Europe would both benefit from closer collaboration and a fair partnership are constantly increasing: They include the need for radical climate change measures; equitable trade relations; rural development and nutrition; functioning social protection and health care systems; the creation of legal migration routes; intergenerational and gender justice, among others.

As one of the few political actors engaged from grassroots to international level, civil society connects everyday life experiences with distant AU-EU policy processes. It meaningfully con-tributes to the Africa-Europe Partnership by providing innovative insights based on the realities of the people on both continents. Our conference will provide the space to develop new civil society approaches for a revised AU-EU strategy that actually helps to improve people’s lives.

Keynote speakers and panellists include (see programme):

  • Jutta Urpilainen (European Union Commissioner for International Partnerships);
  • H.E. Jestas Abuok Nyamanga (Ambassador of the United Republic of Tanzania and Chair of the Committee of Ambassadors of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States);
  • Martin Jäger (State Secretary in the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development);
  • Teresa Ribeiro (State Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs);
  • Tone Kajzer (State Secretary, Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs);
  • Jane Nalunga (Director, The Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Institute)

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