The new Africa-EU partnership and the role of Finland and Sweden
A discussion on current topics with Liselott Lindström, Africa correspondent, Elina Kalkku, Under-Secretary of State for Development Policy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Finland, Janine Alm Ericson, Secretary of State for International Development Cooperation, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Sweden and Sandra Kramer, Director, EU Directorate-General for International partnerships.
Watch the recorded webinar here:
The world’s perception of Africa is changing, as Africa’s confidence on the world stage is growing. In the Africa strategy of the EU, there is talk about a new kind of partnership, but what is the role of Finland and Sweden in the new relationship that the EU is now trying to establish with Africa? Will European politicians manage to change outdated ways of relating to the continent? Does Africa even need the EU any more as there are other actors on the world arena that are creating close ties with the continent of the future? What kind of damage has earlier policies of the EU towards Africa caused as far as the social contract is concerned, and has traditional development cooperation in fact undermined it?
The webinar is arranged by Hanaholmen – the Swedish-Finnish Cultural Centre External link, opens in new window. in cooperation with the Nordic Africa Institute.
- Sandra Kramer, Director, EU Directorate-General for International Partnerships
- Elina Kalkku, Under-Secretary of State for Development Policy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Finland
- Janine Alm Ericson, Secretary of State for International Development Cooperation, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Sweden
The discussion will be moderated by Liselott Lindström, Africa correspondent.
In March 2020, the European Commission released its communication Towards a comprehensive Strategy with Africa. Under Ursula von der Leyen, the Commission prioritises partnerships for green transition, digital transformation, sustainable growth, peace and governance, and migration and mobility.
But the dynamics within the EU external relations, the rise of populist nationalism, and the assertiveness of Africa’s self-image with emergent powers seeking increased influence there, present a complex background for a new direction for EU-Africa cooperation.
So how can the Nordics contribute to a genuine conversation on equal terms between the Europeans and Africans, and how can European policies be informed by African perspectives, values and realities?
The Hanaholmen Culture Centre and the Nordic Africa Institute are hosting a two-part event to discuss the Nordic multi-level partnership with Africa, and identify areas and ways in which the Nordics can contribute to the future of EU-Africa relations.
The Roundtable, on 30 November, featured thought-leaders from Africa and the Nordics examinating the potential and value of a Nordic contribution to the EU-Africa relationship, exploring ways to engage in honest conversation about how the Nordics and Africa can benefit from each other’s experience and support each other’s priorities.