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S&Ds: The fifth ‘Africa Week’ kicks off. We call on EU-Africa Summit to deliver on health rights, sustainable development and respect of democracy

Date

31 Jan 2022

Sections

Global Europe

Starting on the 3rd and then from the 8th until the 10th February 2022, the S&D Group is going to host the fifth edition of ‘Africa Week’, a fully-fledged event on EU-Africa relations with European and African personalities, politicians, young people and representatives of civil society joining us to discuss and outline our common future. The S&Ds’ main goal is to deliver our messages, calls and ideas on democracy, health, climate change, digital transition, inequality, and decent jobs to the crucial EU-Africa Summit organised in Brussels from 17th to 19th February. This year, because of the global Covid-19 pandemic, the ‘Africa Week’ will be in a hybrid event format, blending live and in-presence debates with remote participants from Europe and our sister continent. 

We will engage in rich political debates including a high-level session on the new idea of equal partnership in the post-pandemic era, the right to health as a shared interest to stop Covid-19 spreading, the common fight against climate change and inequalities, and how to fill the infrastructural deficit in Africa. Besides these, cultural activities and a musical performance reflecting diversity will also be held. These will be live streamed via hybrid and remote digital streaming on the S&D Group’s webpage: www.socialistsanddemocrats.eu.

S&D president, Iratxe García Pérez, said:

“The pandemic may have bent all of us but certainly not broken the political and strategic engagement the Socialists and Democrats have been dedicating to Africa for decades now in the European Parliament. Covid-19 will go down in history for having drastically changed billions of people’s lives and increasing inequality and poverty across the world. This is particularly true in all African countries, and while the global economic recovery is on its way in Europe as elsewhere, in Africa this is undermined by the dramatic lack of vaccines. G20 countries have received 15 times more Covid-19 vaccine doses per capita than sub-Saharan African countries. This is not acceptable. For the S&D Group, no one is safe until everyone is safe. Patent waivers is the only way forward to gear up production and vaccination in Africa. 

“We have been working relentlessly and we call on the upcoming EU-Africa leaders’ Summit to ensure that the new EU-Africa partnership is based on an equal footing, respectful dialogue, mutual ownership and shared responsibility. Fighting climate change represents the most meaningful and common test bench. CO2 emissions, global warming, floods and drought know no boundaries. However, paradoxically, the region that has contributed the least to global emissions is the continent set to be worst hit by extreme weather. A sustainable recovery in Europe that doesn’t take Africa into consideration risks failing to achieve the overall objectives of the Paris Agreement and the SDGs. We need a future-proof Green Pact between EU and Africa with the goal to support large-scale, sustainable electrification programmes and investments in a renewable energy generation boost. 

“Health, the fight against climate change, but also empowering women and younger generations, education, decent jobs, human rights, democracy and digitalisation - this is our idea of a new EU-Africa partnership. This is our ‘Africa week’.”

Our special guests from Africa and Europe including Dr. Ayoade Olatunbosun-Alakija, co-chair of the African Union’s African Vaccine Delivery Alliance;  Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (Bobi Wine), Ugandan Opposition Leader, musician and former member of Parliament; Prof. Ms. Petro Terblanche, Managing Director, Afrigen; EU Commissioners Jutta Urpilainen  and Helena Dalli, for International Partnerships and for Equality respectively, will discuss the various policies that have been put in place, the best practices to invest in, and the mistakes to avoid again.

On Thursday 3rd February, at 11:00 Central European Time (CET), S&D spokesperson in the Development Committee, Udo Bullmann; the co-chair of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, Carlos Zorrinho; and Maria Arena, S&D MEP and chair of the European Parliament’s Sub-Committee on Human Rights, will hold an open debate with Civil Societies, African and European Journalists live at www.socialistsanddemocrats.eu.

Find out more about the S&Ds' #withAfrica partnership here

The full ‘Africa Week’ programme is available here (EN and FR) 

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