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Security issues to dominate AU-EU meeting

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The insecurity risks posed by the Boko Haram sect are set to be among the most prominent issues on the agenda when the African Union Commission and the European Commission hold their annual College to College meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Thursday.

The two Commissions work together as the engine of EU-Africa relations, collaborating on tackling challenges that the two continents are facing together.

This annual meeting is the biggest EU-Africa political meeting of the year.

In the wake of both continents suffering terror strikes, discussions will focus on key themes such as migration, peace, security and sustainable growth, as well as other policy areas enshrined in the Joint EU-Africa Strategy (JAES).

Nigeria, where the Boko Haram has killed more than 20 000 civilians, is among the worst affected.

“I expect our work will foster common activities in many areas such as economic and social development, migration, fight against terrorism and international and regional issues,” said Federica Mogherini, who will be heading the EU Commission delegation.

The topics for discussion will cover various themes across the five priorities of the Joint Africa EUStrategy (JAES) Roadmap 2014-17 with a focus on peace, security and migration, as well as the two continents’ responses to the need to ensure sustainable economic growth and development to the benefit of Africa’s and Europe’s populations.

Africa is the EU’s most important continent for EU development assistance.

From 2007 to 2013 the official development assistance (ODA) disbursed to Africa by the EU and its Member States is estimated at around €144 billion (around €20,6 billion on average per year).

The European Commission alone provided approximately €1,7 billion to the African Union since 2004 until 2015.

In 2015, cooperation amounted to €337 million.

Cooperation between the two covers mainly peace and security operations, capacity building activities as well as cooperation programmes in different thematic areas, involving a wide range of actors such as Member States, Institutions and implementing partners.

– CAJ News

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