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Geert Laporte guest speaker on the 3rd Meeting of think tanks Africa-Spain with Elcano
April 13, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm
The first Africa-Spain Think Tanks Meeting, held in 2015, created a space for the exchange of ideas and the strengthening of relations between different Spanish and African centers.
In 2016, Casa África brings together experts from different think tanks in the meeting called “ Dialogue between Think Tanks on Sub-Saharan Africa ”, with the aim of generating networks and suggesting future strategies for their countries. As a continuation of this line of activities, Casa África also celebrates in 2017 the II Africa-Spain Think Tanks Meeting.
These meetings and activities highlight the recognition of the role of thought centers in the elaboration of public policies , for their ability not only to analyse the challenges of societies, but also to propose recommendations and scenarios from a different, multidisciplinary and prospective.
In the framework of the growing momentum in relations between Europe and Africa, the European Union (EU) and the African Union (AU) will hold their VI Summit in 2021. The VI EU-AU Summit will be the key moment of meeting between African and European leaders, where foreseeably the bases for a new collaboration strategy between both parties will be adopted. In March 2020, the European Commission and the EEAS presented a joint Communication “Towards a global strategy with Africa”, which proposes to work together around five priority axes:
- A partnership for ecological transition and access to energy;
- An association for digital transformation;
- A partnership for sustainable growth and jobs;
- An association for peace, security and governance;
- An association for migration and mobility.
In the conclusions of the Communication, it is noted that the next summit will be a crucial moment for the renewal of a common global strategic approach.
African think-tanks have the potential to provide a genuine African vision on the different issues facing EU-Africa relations.
These African contributions are fundamental contributions so that the Spanish position can legitimize a shared vision and common priorities with the African countries.
For this reason, Casa África, together with the Real Instituto Elcano, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Spanish Cooperation, launched the 3 rd meeting of think tanks to keep putting in value and taking advantage the analytical capacity of these thought centers whose impact on the discussion and formulation of policies is increasing.
As is the case in other regions of the world, also on the African continent, the reports generated from these centers should play an important role in empowering the African agenda . His work on the main issues allows to publicise the needs, dynamics and processes of African civil society, in contrast to the African agenda defined by the great powers with interests in the continent, or by the rest of international think tanks.
Therefore, and in line with the objectives and mission of Casa África to bring Africa closer to Spain, we continue to promote this meeting of Africa-Spain think tanks that aims to bring together representatives of the most prominent African think tanks with specialists in sub-Saharan Africa from the main Spanish think tanks, with the aim of generating and strengthening interaction between them.
The meeting took place around three closed work tables and a final public conference . During the session the addressed topics were:
- Governance, democracy and security
This table aims to discuss the different experts in relation to the importance of governance in the African development agenda, the challenges of security and African solutions, as well as the problems of human rights in general, and of the woman in particular, in these contexts.
- Green industrialization, employment and African economic integration
This table addresses the different proposals for a green industrialization strategy for Africa, the economic impact of climate change, as well as other issues related to job creation, the importance of youth and the pressures on intra-African migratory movements. A debate on the implications of European policy on African regional and continental integration processes is also intended.
- New narratives and post-COVID foreign policy approaches
This table aims to analyze the foreign relations of African countries with international actors (European Union, China and other emerging countries), as well as to assess the effectiveness and problems faced by African multilateralism (African Union, regional communities, among others) in the new context of the pandemic and in its foreign relations.
Download the meeting program.
The final conference was focus on “Building an Africa-EU partnership among equals”. Geert Laporte, our European Think Tanks Group (ETTG) Director was the guest speaker and contributed with his expertise to the discussion.
Simultaneous translation was provided.
The event was followed live: