EU-Africa Summit Will Focus on Investing in ‘Human Capital’

Written by Makula Dunbar

In the eyes of the European Union, African investment goes furthest when the people benefiting are in a position to bolster it. Titled “Investing in People, Prosperity and Peace,” the fourth EU-Africa summit will take place in Brussels April 2-3.

An EU press release noted that cooperation in Africa has been rooted in investment of human capital through educating and training youth who can take on jobs that will create more opportunities.

African Unions leaders and the continent’s heads of state — in addition to EU leaders Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council and José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission — will be in attendance.

“Fulfilling the vision set out in the Joint Africa-EU Strategy, the summit will deepen our partnership of equals and seize further cooperation opportunities by expanding political, economic and people to people contacts. This includes the pursuit of durable and sustainable economic growth generating opportunities and well-being for all our citizens,” Barroso said in the release.

“Both Africa and the European Union will come together to address the challenges that each of our continent faces and the ones that face the world as a whole,” Van Rompuy added.

“The theme we have chosen addresses the everyday concerns of our citizens– their safety and security, their job prospects, and their future as families and individuals. I am looking forward to a summit that will further reinforce our partnership and contribute to improve the quality of hope of our population.”

In 2007, at the second annual EU-Africa Summit, The Joint Africa EU Strategy (JAES) was adopted, a summit background note stated. At this year’s summit, leaders are looking to adopt a similar declaration that will also honor challenges unrelated to political cooperation.