S&D Group Africa Week 2018

We are pleased to announce that the next edition of our Africa Week will take place from Monday 5 November to Friday 9 November 2018 in Brussels.

Check out the programme below and register today to one or more events. We look forward to having you join us.


Deadline for registration: Sunday 28 October

Flickr gallery

Africa Week 2018 Programme





Africa-Europe: Same Challenges, Equal Partnership, One Fight
Youth as partners to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

Second S&D Group Workshop of African and European Youth Representatives

In partnership with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES) and Young European Socialists (YES)
Internal event (not open to the public) | European Parliament, Brussels


MEP Eric Andrieu, vice-president of the S&D Group
MEP Arne Lietz, Member of the European Parliament Committee on Development
MEP Linda McAvan, Chair of the European Parliament Committee on Development
MEP Elena Valenciano, vice-president of the S&D Group


Investigative Journalism in Africa and in Europe
The fight against corruption and tax evasion

S&D Group - ULB Coopération Conference
Public event | Salle Dupréel, Campus du Solbosch, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Avenue Jeanne 44, 1050 Brussels REGISTER

Guest Speakers:

- Maxime Domegni: Investigative Journalist, Togo
- William Fitzgibbon: Head of the Africa Desk at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism (ICIJ)
- Antonio Gambini: Researcher on Fiscal Justice at CNCD 11.11.11
- Rafael Marques de Morais: Journalist and Head of Maka Angola


MEP Marie Arena, S&D Group Coordinator in the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly
MEP Elly Schlein, Member of the European Parliament Special Committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance

 5-9 November 

Africa, Europe & the SDGs
The View of an Euro-African Cartoonist, An exhibition by Damien Glez with the S&D Group  
Public event | European Parliament Brussels (ASP building, ground floor next to the entrance of the Members' Restaurant)



The future of National Development Banks: Implications for African Finance

Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) Seminar
Public event | FEPS, Rue Montoyer 40, 1000 Brussels | REGISTER

Opening remarks by Ernst Stetter, Secretary General of FEPS
Guest Speakers:

- Stephany Griffith-Jones, Financial Markets Program Director at the Iniative for Policy Dialogue at Columbia University
- Victor Murinde, AXA Professor in Global Finance, SOAS University of London 
- Jose Antonio Ocampo, Co-Director of the Bank of the Republic, Columbia 




MEP Pervenche Beres, Member of the European Parliament Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs


Nelson Mandela - 100th Anniversary 
A celebration of Mandela's legacy and reflection on democracy and good governance in Africa

Global Progressive Forum (GPF) Conference   LIVE  
Public event | European Parliament, Room JAN 4Q2, Brussels | REGISTER

Guest Speakers:

- Joanmariae Louise Fubbs: South Africa MP
- Jessie Majone: Zimbabwe MP
- Raphael Marques de Morais: Journalist and Head of Maka Angola
- Madelein Mkunu: Founder and President of Leading Women of Africa, South Africa
- Zanetor Rawlings: Ghana MP


MEP Enrique Guerrero Salom, President of the Global Progressive Forum

MEP Boris Zala, Vice-Chair of the European Parliament Delegation for relations with South Africa

Increasing Democratic Participation and Engaging Citizens in Africa and in Europe

First GPF Africa-Europe Progressive Parliamentary Dialogue with the participation of African and European progressive Members of the Parliament and Members of the S&D Group in the European Parliament.
Internal event (not open to the public) | European Parliament, Brussels

Guest African MPs:

- Ousmane Alpha: Burkina Faso MP

- Nana Fassouma: Niger MP

- Joanmariae Louise Fubbs: South Africa MP
- Jessie Majone: Zimbabwe MP

- Zainab Katimba: Tanzania MP
- Zanetor Rawlings: Ghana MP
- Martin Ziguele: Central African Republic MP





Climate Change and Security in Africa: Addressing Key Challenges

Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) - Max Van der Stoel Foundation (MSF) Seminar
Public event (sandwich lunch) | European Parliament, Room ASP 1E201, Brussels | REGISTER

Guest Speakers:

- Murray Biedler, Project Officer at the UNESCO International Hydrology Programme, UNESCO European Liaison Office
- Apollos Nwafor, Pan Africa Director at Oxfam International
- Vanessa Vovor, Project Officer, Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa Project (tbc)


Africa-Europe Partnership: A Vision Beyond Migration

S&D Group Conference   LIVE  
Public event | European Parliament, Room ASP 3G3, Brussels | REGISTER

Keynote Speeches:

- H.E. Roch Marc Christian Kaboré: President of the Republic of Burkina Faso
- H.E. Federica Mogherini : High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security & Vice-President of the European Commission

Lectio Magistralis by:

- Paul Collier: Professor at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford
Guest Speakers:
- Nana Fassouma: Niger MP
- Kyari Mohammed: Vice Chancellor of Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Nigeria
- Apollos Nwafor: Pan Africa Director at Oxfam International


MEP Udo Bullmann, President of the S&D Group
MEP Tanja Fajon, Vice-President of the S&D Group
MEP Elena Valenciano, Vice-President of the S&D Group
MEP Linda McAvan, Chair of the European Parliament Committee on Development



Palais des Beaux-Arts, Rue Ravenstein 23, 1000 Brussels

Public event, free entry upon registration    LIVE  

(19.00) Dinner reception hosted by the Party of European Socialists (PES) Women and the S&D Group
In partnership with Elles Tournent and European Women's Lobby 

Public event | Bozar, Hall Horta, Brussels | REGISTER

Welcome remarks:

- MP Zita Gurmai, President of PES Women
- Paul Dujardin, Director General of BOZAR
- MEP Marie Arena, S&D Group Coordinator in the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly

(20.30-22.30) Afro-Feminism & Digital Arts | The Nest Collective, African Digital Arts, Ker Thiossane

Public event | Bozar, Studio, Brussels | REGISTER

Interpretation: EN, FR 

- Oulimata Gueye : Curator and Co-commissioner of the conference cycle "Afrocyberféminismes" at Gaïté Lyrique in Paris (2018)
- Jepchumba: Activist and Founder of African Digital Arts
- Akati Khasiani: Member of The Nest Collective, Nairobi
- Marion Louisgrand: Founder of Ker Thiossane, Dakar





African Continental Free Trade Area: Making It Work for Africa

S&D Group Seminar
Public event | European Parliament, Room ASP 3G2, Brussels | REGISTER

Guest Speakers:

- Ousmane Alpha: Burkina Faso MP
- Peter Lunenborg, Senior Researcher in the Trade and Development Programme at the South Centre, Geneva
- Karin Ulmer, Senior Policy Officer, ACT Alliance EU (tbc)


MEP Marie Arena, S&D Group Coordinator in the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly


Combating Modern Slavery in Africa and in Europe

S&D Group Seminar   LIVE  
Public event | European Parliament, Room ASP 3G2, Brussels | REGISTER

Guest Speakers:

- Hamdi Ahmed: Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement (IRA-Mauritania) 
- Kyari Mohammed: Vice Chancellor of Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Nigeria
- Gianni Pittella, Member of the Italian Senate, Former President of the S&D Group
- Silvia Scarpa, Ajunct Professor, John Cabot University, Rome


MEP Cecile Kyenge, Vice-President of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly
MEP Soraya Post, S&D Group Coordinator in the European Parliament Sub-Committee on Human Rights


Climate Change and Food Security in Africa
Film Screening: "Swallow: Food Security in Nigeria's Changing Climate"
Public event (sandwich lunch) | European Parliament, Room ASP 3G3, Brussels | REGISTER

Guest Speakers:

- Jacqueline Farris: Executive Producer
- Amara Nwankpa : Director Public Policy Iniative at the Shehu Musa Yar' Adua Foundation, Nigeria
- Emmanual Tebanyang: Policy Analyst at Karamoja Development Forum, Uganda


MEP Kathleen Van Brempt, Vice-President of the S&D Group
MEP Norbert Neuser, S&D Group Coordinator in the European Parliament Committee on Development


"Innovation et creativite. Rencontre avec des entrepreneurs innovants issus de la diversite" 
TOGETHER "Go Local" event hosted by S&D MEP Marie Arena in partnership with START Creation Ixelles

Public event | Emergence XL, Rue du Sceptre 13-19 (Brussels, Belgium) | REGISTER

Guest Speakers:

Eva Ba, Founder and Manager of Bissap Talina

Julien Bongo, Founder of Tshouly Concept

Karen Kaneza, Manager of the Platform ADYFE for Young Entrepreneurs from the diaspora

Chouna Lomponda, President of Success DiverStory asbl

Christelle Pandanzyla, Founder of Roots Events and Co-Founder of Empow'her network

Patrick Sungu, Planner Strategy Owner of V68

Marie Charlotte Tatepo, Consultant in Digital Strategy and Founder of Renaissance Africaine asbl

Nel Tsopo, Founder of Brukmer Magazine

Denis Vervier, Serial Entrepreneur of V68





"Wir sind Rhineland-Pfalz! Erfolgsgescguchten unserer afrikanischen diaspora" 
TOGETHER "Go Local" event hosted by S&D MEP Norbert Neuser

Public event | Proviantamt, Schillerstrabe 11a, (Mainz, Germany) | REGISTER


Una diaspora africana africana imprenditrice, attiva e protagonista in Ialia e in Africa 
TOGETHER "Go Local" event hosted by S&D MEP Cecile Kyenge in partnership with AfroItalian Power Iniative (API)

Public event | Piazza Roma 1 (Modena, Italy) | REGISTER

 Guest Speakers:

Andrea Bosi, Municipal Councillor in Modena for European and International Cooperation

Fortuna Ekutsu Mambulu, Network of African Entrepreneurs in Italy

 Events marked with   LIVE    will be web-streamed on www.socialistsanddemocrats.eu

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 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.

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.

Related publications


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


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