Anticipated EU-AU summit coming soon!
What to expect.
The European Union (EU) and the African Union (AU) have had a collaborative relationship as partners for many years. The EU is one of Africa’s main trading partners, foreign investors, and is the primary development partner. The collaboration between Africa and the EU has resulted in robust economies that are resilient, fair, and sustainable. In this context, the upcoming EU-AU summit on 17-18 February 2022 in Brussels is an event to look forward to.. The EU and AU collaborate in different areas such as health, security, technology, digitalization, and trade. Africa export agricultural products to Europe (51% in 2016), and manufactured products (approximately 35% of exports). Thus, raw materials alone account for 49% according to the EU trade policy document. Trade agreements are in place to strengthen trade relations between Africa and the EU – for instance, the Cotonou agreement, Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) and the Paris Agreement. The upcoming EU- AU summit looks at some of these ways to better strengthen this relationship. These points were also reiterated in the speech by Franck Riester, during the pre-conference held in France.
For African SMEs
Trade is an important tool to empower a community, reduce financial poverty, promote economic growth and ensure the resilience of economic growth – more so for small businesses in Africa who depend on trading what they produce to ensure a dignified life for themselves. COVID-19 has disrupted trade for many, with commodity exports declining. Many hope to see the summit address regulations that enable export internationally. This is made possible by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) so as to make the movement of goods in the African continent much easier and increase the demand for products. This will go a long way to support small businesses. Ne xt is standards like what is needed to be able to produce quality products that will not only address local and regional markets but international markets as well. To address this, consideration must be given to training that these businesses require to ensure quality. The final benefit is a better collaboration with investors and entrepreneurs so that they can complement each other in their businesses and get the financial, managerial practices, and technology that they need to take their businesses to the next level.
On the side of the EU
Since, like the AU, the EU also wants to ensure more resilient, fair and sustainable growth of their economies through investment and trade. This is what has been going on between the two continents for ages. Some hope that the summit will address how to strengthen trade agreements between the continent of Europe and Africa and also regional trade with specific countries. This will help to ensure the flow of goods between both continents. Another goal is to ensure digitalization so as to facilitate trade between the EU and partners like Africa so as not only to increase the competitiveness of Europe but also to assist Africa and take their businesses to the world stage. This will be through tech transfer for sustainable production, value addition, and trade facilitation. They also aim to address how better to invest in Africa so as to get the most out of it to increase EU growth. For example, training that ensures quality of goods entering the EU, or improving regulations that will help to facilitate the entering of goods into the EU.
What’s the benefit for EAL and partners?
EAL’s mission is to connect African agribusinesses with European entrepreneurs and investors in agriculture. Our aim is to attract investments for projects in Africa which close the gender gap and create a win-win collaboration of inclusion, sustainability, and fair trade between Africa and Europe. To ensure quality products for the EU market, EAL designed a Unique Branded Solution (UBS) which is a competency and competitive guide to accessing international markets.
Also, in collaboration with the Pan African Information Communication Technology Association (PAICTA) (PAICTA is an organization whose mandate / purpose seeks to act as a digital-transformative body in the interest of: Communities, ICT Innovation, SME Development & Sustainability, Women, Youth & Persons with Disabilities and ensure that ICT enables all other industry sectors) , EuroAfri Link has been given a 1-3 hour slot on Radio 78.5 Pan African Voice on Agritech and Access to International Markets talk show, that streams to over three social media platforms. This is a program that helps to highlight agritech companies, and disseminate information that is pertinent for the development of African small-scale farmers, ensuring that they understand the stringent EU quality standards, productivity requirements and guide companies on how to access international markets. This radio program covers all of Africa and can help the EU African Market on a “one on one” and a “one to many” level. If you are interested in showcasing your solution, business, or technology on this platform, then please contact us. This is a smart way to bridge the information and knowledge gap between Africa and Europe in trade.
Authors: Sonwabo Mdwaba founder and President of PAICTA, host of Radio 78.5 Pan African Voice, and Patience Chindong, CEO EAL.