S&D Africa Week programme 13 to 15 October 2020

S&D GROUP AFRICA WEEK 2020
Tuesday 13 to Thursday 15 October  

PROGRAMME
Download the English version   NB: All events will follow Central European Time (CET)
Télécharger la version française   NB: Toutes les heures indiquées sont CET
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Una asociación reforzada entre África y la Unión Europea

África ha sido, y seguirá siendo, una prioridad de los Socialistas y Demócratas del Parlamento Europeo. Creemos que África es un socio igual en esfuerzos, aspiraciones y sueños en la lucha contra la desigualdad, con lo cual nuestras acciones deben reflejar esa realidad. La pandemia global de la COVID-19 ha ampliado el azote de la desigualdad en África. La desigualdad y su resolución, agravadas por los viejos desafíos de la pobreza extrema, el hambre y el paro, son nuestro foco principal de preocupación.

Seguimos subrayando que hace falta reforzar más la asociación entre África y la Unión Europea como parte de la solución de estos desafíos. Se están poniendo a prueba nuevas cotas en las relaciones entre África y la Unión Europea, ahora más que nunca. Hace falta trabajar con urgencia, conjuntamente, para abordar la pandemia global y sus efectos. El sentido de la Nueva Asociación se basa, en parte, en la capacidad de pasar esta prueba.  

La economía africana está perdiendo miles de millones de dólares en los sectores del transporte y el turismo debido a las restricciones de viaje; las pequeñas empresas se están ahogando debido a la falta de disponibilidad de ingresos a un nivel en el que la mayoría es incapaz de alimentarse a sí misma; las empresas privadas están, en general, debilitadas y cientos de millones de personas han perdido sus empleos. La recaudación fiscal ha afectado a las prestaciones de la mayor parte de los gobiernos, que son incapaces de facilitar bienes públicos, servicios y redes de seguridad a los grupos vulnerables, en el escenario de una agenda social que sea flexible, especialmente en el sector sanitario de la lucha contra la pandemia.  

Agravan esta situación los viejos desafíos sin respuesta, incluyendo la obligación de dar respuesta a la cuestión de la población en África, que se espera que alcance los 2.500 millones de personas antes de 2050, y que será predominantemente joven. Esos desafíos magnifican las complejidades en torno a la gestión de la migración, abordando la desigualdad y la creación de empleos dignos. La asociación entre África y la Unión Europea debe ir más allá de responsabilidades y titularidades comunes y tiene que abordar las debilidades que ha mostrado la pandemia global, abrazando la necesidad de inclusión, principalmente garantizando la plena contribución y participación de África en las cadenas globales de valor.

Nosotros y nosotras, los Socialistas y Demócratas, luchamos por un desarrollo sostenible y un crecimiento económico de inclusión que no deje a ningún niño o niña, mujer u hombre atrás. Queremos que Europa, junto a nuestros socios africanos, se enfoque cada vez más en una cooperación política que se centre en las personas, abordando las desigualdades. Creemos que así se responderá a los desafíos de pobreza extrema y paro y ello contribuirá a que África sea un lugar mejor y más sostenible para sus habitantes. En nuestro trabajo diario en el Parlamento Europeo, luchamos para reducir las desigualdades sociales, por una buena gobernanza mejorada y promoviendo la diplomacia del clima, el crecimiento económico sostenible y el respeto de los derechos humanos. Creemos que el éxito de esta renovada asociación entre el África y la Unión Europea puede ser clave de cara a encontrar soluciones a los desafíos globales comunes. No hay tiempo que perder.

Una asociación más madura y contemporánea entre África y la Unión Europea puede ayudarnos a abordar los desafíos comunes que afrontamos. Juntos podemos reforzar la democracia y los derechos humanos e impulsar un desarrollo humano y económico que sea sostenible en nuestras sociedades.

La buena coordinación de las políticas exteriores de la Unión Europea es esencial si queremos sacar el máximo partido a las oportunidades globales que se nos presentan y ser un actor responsable en la escena internacional. 

Empowering women and young people

Empowering women

Women’s rights are first and foremost human rights, but societies where women can expect justice and equal opportunities are also more successful. We believe therefore that empowering women is not only a matter of justice, but also essential for building successful societies.

We are working together with other international partners to empower African women, defend their rights and prevent violence and discrimination. We strive to ensure that the rights of women are respected, that access to education is available for all and that violence against women is eliminated – in law and in practice. The S&Ds also want to see the empowerment of women lead to greater participation in the political life of their communities.  

Young people

Empowering young people means investing in people by creating an environment where they can achieve their potential. Empowered and educated young people are vital for the future of their communities – and for the entire world. We believe that with co-ordinated action between African and European partners, young Africans can make the difference in tackling global, regional and local challenges. We are convinced that creating opportunities for young Africans is crucial: they have an enormous potential to shape their societies, foster democracy and the rule of law, promote human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as finding innovative solutions to the issues they face. We call for free high-quality education, investment in skills and improving employment opportunities.

Education

Education is vital for building better futures and we have launched an initiative focused on supporting proper education for young generations missing out on schooling through conflicts and humanitarian crises. We are working together with the United Nations, other EU institutions, and civil-society organisations at a European and global level to create political support and solid financial backing for international projects in this field. Through our #Educa initiative, we want to offer future generations access to appropriate education in order to help them build more peaceful and responsible societies.
Find out more about #Educa and how we have raised the level of aid funding for education.

Sustainable Development Goals and climate action

Sustainable Development Goals and eradicating poverty

We believe that sustainable development and eradicating poverty must be global priorities. The Sustainable Development Goals agreed at the UN Summit in September 2015 set out an ambitious agenda, but there is still much to do.

We must work towards stronger development policies to build effective social protection systems and to provide universal access to all levels of education and health for the most vulnerable, creating more inclusive societies. This also means we need a sustainable approach to agriculture and resources promoting responsible energy use, universal access to drinking water and sanitation, and tackling climate change and unsustainable production and consumption. We are fighting for more international environmental co-operation, technological innovations and incentives for governments implementing progressive environmental policies.

The S&Ds are also committed to taking action on gender equality, especially when it comes to education and health.  Women can play a crucial role in fighting against discrimination and for development, for example on improving maternal health and reducing child mortality rates. The current humanitarian crisis at Europe's borders has also highlighted the need for a new global approach, combining the fight against forced migration and the promotion of regular migration as a development engine, for both countries of origin and destination.
Read our 10 pledges for solidarity and development.


Environment
The Paris agreement reached in December 2015 was a milestone in the international efforts to combat climate change. Yet, much more work is needed to help those who are already feeling the effects of these changes. Some African countries are particularly vulnerable and face the threat of famine, forced migration and even new conflicts.
The S&D Group is committed to improving the resilience of local populations and helping them prevent and reduce disaster risks – and to ensuring adequate resources are allocated. In the same vein, we wish to see Africa fulfilling its potential and becoming a world leader in the production and use of renewable and efficient energy that respects environmental standards.

Democracy and good governance

The S&Ds play a leading role in the European Parliament in supporting the people of Africa, addressing humanitarian and development needs, and promoting the values of democracy and good governance. At the beginning of the new millennium, the EU launched a new dialogue with Africa which aimed to build a strategic partnership with the continent. In recent years, the EU has also been active in responding to the Arab Spring in North Africa and to serious challenges in the Sahel and the Horn of Africa regions. Actions intended to address instability in these regions must form part of a broader strategy involving good governance, development, humanitarian action and, above all, restoring the rule of law. 

Fair trade and the fight against conflict minerals

Fair trade

Trade can support our development and humanitarian goals. We believe it can and should create economic growth to reduce poverty; help combat discrimination and improve the situation of women and children; strengthen respect for the environment and for social and safety standards; reinforce the rule of law, labour standards and human rights; involve trade unions and civil society; and boost regional integration.

Conflict minerals

The S&Ds continue to lead the battle for the traceability of the raw materials used in many everyday products, which are sometimes sourced in conflict zones, fuelling armed conflicts, slave labour and human-rights abuses. This has to change and we want to see mining become a source of economic development and benefits for local communities, rather than a dangerous activity responsible for driving people off their land, drawing innocent children into armed conflict and undermining development as a whole.

After a long campaign by the S&Ds, the European Parliament reached an agreement with the EU Council on 15 June 2016 for a new regulation. Despite strong Conservative opposition, the Socialists and Democrats secured a legally binding scheme to ensure traceability. The goal of the S&D Group is to ensure that regulating the use of conflict minerals is not some optional add on, but is mandatory.

This has struck a harsh blow to the criminal militias that, in many regions of the world – especially in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – massacre, abuse and rape women and children in order to exploit the mining of tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold. European citizens must be able to have confidence that their tablet, mobile phone or PC is not made of minerals stained with innocent blood. We are fighting to end the trade in conflict minerals.

Field visits

Africa is a top priority for the S&Ds. This is why our MEPs have been on a series of fact-finding missions over recent years to meet with locals, experts and politicians on the ground.

Our MEPs have visited many different countries and regions, including Sierra Leone (February 2017), Kenya (February & December 2016), Ghana (December 2016), Gambia (September 2016), DRC (September 2016), Gabon (August 2016), Mali (July & September 2016), Namibia (June 2016), Ethiopia (April 2016), Botswana (April 2016) Uganda (February 2016) and Tanzania (October 2015). Aside from these S&D visits, our MEPs have also taken part in numerous European Parliament missions to act as international observers, helping to ensure elections are free and fair.

A key visit for us was in April 2015, when a delegation of S&D MEPs, led by President Gianni Pittella, visited the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to meet with the government and officials, the Sakharov Prize Laureate Dr Mukwege and civil-society and business representatives working on human rights, democracy and the fight against conflict minerals. The S&D Group has made violence against women and the banning of conflict minerals a top priority of its political action in the European Parliament. The aim of the mission was to better understand the reality on the ground and how the European Union can help local communities overcome 20 years of civil war.

In May 2017, S&D president Gianni Pittella led an S&D delegation to Nigeria and Guinea to get an overview of the political, security, social and economic situation in both countries – especially to better understand the causes of irregular migration and the solutions to stem the flow of young people leaving Africa illegally. The mission also fed into the S&D Group’s long-term strategy for Africa, addressing the biggest challenges facing both Africa and Europe: migration; the threat of terrorism and radicalisation; climate change; infectious diseases (post-Ebola) and epidemics; managing Africa's demographic boom; the need to consolidate democracy and build effective institutions; and making the best use of the continent's natural resources. The delegation held meetings with parliamentarians, governments, universities, non-governmental organisations and stakeholders, and also visited the Malkohi official and unofficial refugee camps in Yola, in north-east Nigeria, which hosts thousands of internally displaced people fleeing Boko Haram and famine.

Videos

Lo siguiente en la lista

Press releases

Comunicado de prensa

Etiopía: el Grupo S&D pide diálogo para alcanzar una solución duradera y poner fin al sangriento conflicto y a los crímenes de guerra

Comunicado de prensa

Los líderes y las lideresas del G20 deben seguir la notable decisión adoptada por el FMI para aliviar la deuda a los países más pobres en la lucha contra el COVID-19

Comunicado de prensa

El Grupo S&D: la Unión Europea muestra solidaridad con los países socios que hacen frente al COVID-19

Related publications

Publication

Towards a new system of relations based on partnership: WITH AFRICA

Position paper

S&D GROUP POSITION PAPER FOR A RENEWED AFRICA-EU PARTNERSHIP

Position paper

Sustainable development agenda post-2015

Position paper

DEVE (Development) policy paper for development and humanitarian aid priorities 2014-2019