The sixth EU-African Union Summit will begin today in Brussels.
The blocs will discuss the Africa-Europe Investment Package—also known as the Global Gateway plan—focusing on issues related to climate change and COVID-19, including vaccine access and a transition towards renewable energy and sustainable agri-food systems. According to Senegalese and current AU President Macky Sall such policies must account for the level of development of African countries. Other key discussion topics will include access to finance, investment in infrastructure and support for the private sector.
The investment package hopes to foster sustainable market growth and job creation on the African continent. The detailed plan stipulates for solid financial conditions for partners, including grants, favorable loans and budget guarantees to create lower-risk investment and improve debt sustainability. In terms of European interests, the Global Gateway plan would incentivize the expansion of European technology and expertise into African markets.
A strengthened partnership with the AU will give Brussels leverage in Africa in the face of growing Chinese, Russian, and Turkish influence. Expect more European investments like the 150 billion EUR Global Gateway plan to be implemented on the continent, especially as an alternative to China’s Belt and Road initiative.
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Keely is an Analyst with regional expertise in Sub-Saharan Africa. A weekly contributor to the Daily Brief, she specializes in conflict dynamics and geopolitics in West and Central Africa.