The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation, ONE Campaign, and Friends of Europe gathered on Wednesday, 10 October in Brussels for a discussion on alternative approaches to the relationship between Africa and the European Union.
The inaugural meeting brought together leading voices from Europe and Africa, including former presidents and prime ministers, heads of international organisations and other high-level experts, for an open conversation on the main challenges and opportunities of the partnership between both continents. The debate had a special focus on sustainable youth employment.
Mo Ibrahim said:
We need to have a frank and honest conversation between Europe and Africa. Only through better understanding can we address the issues of concern, from development to migrations.
Mo was joined at the meeting by Ibrahim Prize Laureates Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Festus Gontebanye Mogae and Joaquim Alberto Chissano. Other attendees included Arancha Gonzalez, Executive Director of the International Trade Centre (ITC) and member of the Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) Advisory Council; Pascal Lamy, Trustee for Friends of Europe and MIF Board Member; Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development at the European Commission; and Donald Kaberuka, former President of the African Development Bank and MIF Board Member.
The EU-Africa group will meet twice a year. The next meeting will take place around the next Ibrahim Governance Weekend, to be held in Abidjan in April 2019.