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Enhancing EU-Africa Cooperation in the Digital Age

Monday, July 1, 2019

While the European and African continents can already benefit from intense economic relations, innovation can be significantly enhanced through cross-sectoral collaboration - led by the private sector - both within and among the two continents. On this premise, CSR Europe is launching an EU-Africa business-led Collaborative Platform on Digitalisation. Register to the Kick-Off web meeting on July 11, 2019.


Digitalisation and innovation are important enablers for future development both in Africa and in Europe, with many creative start-ups - and multinational companies - providing solutions for different emerging challenges. The two continents can already count on an intense economic partnership. 36% of Africa’s trade is with the EU. The EU’s investment stocks represent 40% of FDI in Africa, and the continent receives on average around EUR 22 billion in EU Official Development (OECD 2018). However, with a population expected to double by 2050, from 1.2 billion to around 2.5 billion of predominantly young people, the African continent faces the challenge to ensure sustainable economic growth while fostering job creation.

In this respect, there is untapped potential for private sector collaboration between EU and Africa to share knowledge and promote responsible investments in the digital economy. A cornerstone of the Africa-EU partnership, the Joint Africa-EU Strategy has already identified five key priority areas including:

  1. Investing in people – education, science, technology and skills development
  2. Strengthening resilience, security and governance
  3. Tackling climate change and improving mobility and energy sectors
  4. Human rights, peace, migration and employment
  5. Fostering trade and regional integration

In line with these priorities, on 11 July CSR Europe will launch an EU-Africa Collaborative Platform on Digitalisation, gathering businesses and key stakeholders. At the web meeting, we will discuss:

  • How CSR Europe envisage the EU-Africa Collaborative Platform;
  • Proposed projects to start-up or scale up based on company feedback;
  • Funding opportunities from the European Commission and the Belgian government (King Baudouin Foundation).

Already back in December last year, President Kagame of Rwanda Chancellor Kurz of Austria, called for a High-Level Forum in Vienna to provide a space where European and African leaders, together with CEOs of major global companies, could cooperate to secure prosperity and competitiveness on both continents in the digital age. Now CSR Europe is acting to ensure cross-sectoral collaboration and to tap into the potential for innovation and growth led by the private sector.

The Next Steps

More information

Register for the next web meeting on July 11, 2019, by sending an email to Soni Kanabar