The Future of Diplomacy
Tuesday 24 May 2022
Panel Discussion: The Future of Africa-EU Relations
The Future of Diplomacy Research Group, Institute for the Future of Knowledge at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and UJ’s Institute for Pan-African Thought and Conversation held a Panel Discussion: The Future of Africa-EU Relations. Africa Day is observed on 25 May each year to commemorate the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963 and its transformation to the African Union (AU) in 2002. The Africa Dday is also celebrated against the backdrop of the independence of African states from European colonialism. The 1958 Treaty of Rome ignited the framework for postcolonial relations between Africa and Europe. This was followed by the 1963 Yaoundé, 1975 Lomé, 2000 Cotonou, and 2021 Post-Cotonou Agreements between the European Union (EU) and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) aimed to strengthen relations between the regions. On 17 and 18 February 2022, the sixth European Union-African Union summit was held in Brussels, Belgium, with the EU welcoming more than 40 African leaders. The two-day meeting was held following the EU’s seemingly poor response to Covid-19 in Africa, and in the context of a wave of recent political instability and threats to security across the continent, particularly in the Sahel region. The imperative to reset the relationship in the face of common opportunities and challenges prompted the AU and EU to commit to a Joint Vision for 2030 during the 2022 summit. This webinar sought to engage the future of Africa-EU relations amidst the new scramble for Africa. The event was chaired by Ambassador Awad Sakine Ahmat, Permanent Representative of the African Union to the European Union, Brussels, Belgium. The speakers were: Ambassador Kaire Mbuende, former Namibian Ambassador to the European Union; Professor Patrick Bond, Department of Sociology, UJ; and Professor Jesper Bjarnesen, The Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala, Sweden.
Dr Oluwaseun Tella
Head of the Future of Diplomacy, UJ’s Institute for the Future of Knowledge
Ambassador Awad Sakine Ahmat
Permanent Representative of the African Union to the European Union, Brussels, Belgium