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    A STRONGER AFRICA-EU PARTNERSHIP

    A more mature and contemporary Africa-EU partnership can help us address the global challenges we face. Together we can strengthen democracy and human rights, and foster sustainable economic and human development in our societies.

    Good co-ordination of the EU's external policies is vital if we want to make the most of the global opportunities we are presented with and be a responsible actor on the international stage.


    REGISTER FOR THE S&Ds AFRICA WEEK HERE

S&D GROUP AFRICA WEEK 2016 - 2017 - 2018


The S&D Group is delighted to have successfully hosted the second S&D Group Africa Week this year. The 2017 edition addressed the theme ‘Youth and the Future of Africa’ and took place from Monday 25 to Thursday 28 September in Brussels.

The week was organised in partnership with the Global Progressive Forum, and in co-operation with ACP Young Professional Network (ACP YPN), BOZAR, Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS), Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES), International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY), Party of European Socialists (PES), Party of European Socialists Women (PES Women), Rainbow Rose, SOLIDAR, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), and Young European Socialists (YES).

Find out more about the S&D Group Africa Week 2017 programme below.

The S&D Group is pleased to announce that the next edition of our Africa Week initiative, the S&D Group Africa Week 2018, will take place from Monday 24 to Thursday 27 September 2018 in Brussels.

S&D Group Africa Week Programme - 25 to 28 September 2017

S&D GROUP AFRICA WEEK 2017
YOUTH AND THE FUTURE OF AFRICA

Monday 25 to Thursday 28 September 2017 Brussels
Registration for one or several public events of the Week at www.withafrica.eu



Monday 25 September

9.00-17.30   S&D Group Workshop of African and European Youth Representatives
Internal event upon invitation
In cooperation with the ACP Young Professional Network and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation
European Parliament
Interpretation in EN, FR
Contact person: Rose Bagudu, S&D Group Secretariat

9.00-9.15              Opening remarks by

MEP Maria Arena, S&D Group coordinator at the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly


9.15-10.30         Session 1
Africa’s Demographic Boom: A Chance or a Disaster?
Sexual and reproductive health and rights - Access to health information, religion and culture: Who decides?


Introductory remarks and moderator: MEP Maria Arena, S&D Group coordinator at the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, member of the European Parliament Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM)

10.30-12.00      Session 2

Root Causes of Internal and External Migration                       

Challenges and the way forward: Conflict, economy and climate change


Introductory remarks and moderator: MEP Cécile Kyenge, Vice-president of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, member of the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE)

12.30-14.00      Workshop lunch

14.30-16.00      Session 3

Youth Employment: Overskilled, Underskilled, or Clientalism?
Education, brain drain and entrepreneurship

Introductory remarks and moderator: MEP Silvia Costa, S&D Group coordinator in the European Parliament Committee on Culture and Education

16.00-17.30      Session 4

Youth Involvement in Politics and in Public Discourse
Good governance, transparency and accountability


Introductory remarks and moderator: MEP Elena Valenciano, Vice-president of the S&D Group


19.00-21.00   ULB - S&D Group Conference / Political and Social Activism in the Digital Era in Africa
Public event upon registration
Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Campus du Solbosch, D building, auditorium DC 2.206 (ground floor - access via Avenue Antoine Depage)
Moderator: Marie-Soleil Frère, Vice-Rector for International Relations and Development Cooperation, ULB
Event in FR
Webstreamed event: www.socialistsanddemocrats.eu
Contact persons: Zoltán Simon, S&D Group Secretariat - Marie Fierens & Ornella Rovetta, ULB

With the participation of
MEP Maria Arena, S&D Group coordinator at the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly              
MEP Cécile Kyenge, Vice-president of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly

Speakers
Patient Ligodi, Journalist and founder of Actualité.cd, Democratic Republic of Congo
Yves Makwambala, Political activist, Democratic Republic of Congo          
Esdras Ndikumana, Journalist, Burundi/France


Tuesday 26 September

14.00-15.00    S&D Group Photo Exhibition Opening /  Meeting the Turkana by Roger Job
Public event upon registration in cooperation with the Musée de la Photographie Charleroi
Exhibition area Altiero Spinelli Building (ASP) 3rd floor (in front of the meeting rooms ASP3G2/3) European Parliament
Contact person: Ioannis Dalmas, S&D Group Secretariat

Opening remarks by
MEP Gianni Pittella, President of the S&D Group
MEP Victor Boştinaru, Vice-president of the S&D Group

Presentation of the collection by
Roger Job, Photojournalist


15.00-18.00    Global Progressive Forum - PES Women Conference / Political Empowerment of Women in Africa and in Europe
Public event upon registration
Paul-Henri Spaak Building (PHS) room 3C50
European Parliament
Interpretation in EN, FR, IT
Webstreamed event: www.socialistsanddemocrats.eu
Contact persons: Anne Morin, GPF Secretariat - Lesia Radelicki, PES Women Secretariat 

15.00-15.15      Opening remarks by
Neven Mimica, European commissioner for international cooperation and development

15.15-15.35      Welcoming remarks by
MEP Enrique Guerrero Salom, Co-chair of the Global Progressive Forum

Zita Gurmai, President of Party of European Socialists Women

MEP Elena Valenciano, Vice-President of the S&D Group

15.35-16.40      Panel 1
Empowering women as political leaders

Introductory remarks and moderator: MEP Cécile Kyenge, Vice-president of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly

Speakers:
Letty Chiwara, UN Women representative to Ethiopia, Africa Union and UN Economic Commission for Africa
Grace Maria Theresa Maipambe Malila, Mayor of Chilanga, Zambia

Conclusions: MEP Liliana Rodrigues, Member of the European Parliament Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM)

16.40-17.45      Panel 2
Enhancing fundamental rights and empowering women as active citizens
Introductory remarks and moderator: MEP Maria Arena, S&D Group coordinator at the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly

Speakers:
Ellen Houston, Head of Programs, SheLeadsAfrica, Togo

Memory Kachambwa, Deputy executive director of FEMNET African Women’s Development and Communication Network, Zimbabwe/Kenya
Florence Ozor, Chair of Bring Back our Girls, Nigeria

Conclusions:
MEP Soraya Post, S&D Group coordinator in the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI)


17.45-18.00      Closing remarks by
Fatou Diome, Author, Senegal/France



19.30-22.30    BOZAR - S&D Group Conference / Generation Afropreneurs: Success Stories from the Digital Boom in Africa
Public event upon registration
BOZAR, Rue Ravenstein 16, 1000 Brussels
Moderator: Samir Abdelkrim, Journalist and founder of START UP Bricks
Web streamed event: www.bozar.be / www.socialistsanddemocrats.eu
Interpretation in EN, FR
Contact persons: Zoltán Simon, S&D Group Secretariat - Kathleen Louw & Ayoko Mensah, BOZAR

19.00                 Doors open

19.30-20.30      Reception and demonstration of the 3D printer created from e-waste by Woelab, Togo

20.15-20.30      Opening remarks by
Paul Dujardin, CEO and artistic director of BOZAR
MEP Gianni Pittella, President of the S&D Group

20.30-22.30      Panel discussion

Speakers:

Sename Koffi Agbodjinou, Co-founder and director of Woelab and L'Africaine d'architecture, Togo
Ellen Houston, Head of programs at SheLeadsAfrica, Togo
Vérone Mankou, CEO of VMK and Vox Media, founder of BantuHub and creator of the first smartphones and digital tablets made in Africa (Way-C et Elikia), Republic of Congo
Aphrodice Mutangana, General manager of KLab, Rwanda
Eyram Tawia, Co-founder and director of Leti Art, Ghana

 
Wednesday 27 September

9.30-11.30    Foundation for European Progressive Studies - SOLIDAR Conference / Africa at a Crossroads: Youth Political Mobilisation, Freedom of Association and Peaceful Assembly
Public event upon registration
FEPS, Rue Montoyer 40, 1000 Brussels
Event in EN
Contact persons: Maria Freitas & Vassilis Ntousas, FEPS Secretariat

9.00-9.35      Opening remarks by
Vassilis Ntousas, Policy adviser in international relations, FEPS
Conny Reuter, Secretary general of SOLIDAR

9.35-11.30      Panel discussion
moderated by Maria Freitas, Policy adviser, FEPS

Speakers:
Bora Kamwanya, ACP Young Professional Network Parliamentary Relations Officer and delegate of the African Union Diaspora Youth Task Force
Kiza Magendane, Blogger and opinion-maker
Serigne Mbodj, Researcher at the Imagine Africa Institute
Alphonse Muambi, Author and expert on African elections and democracy

10.00-11.15     S&D Group meeting / Exchange of views with the representative of Bring Back our Girls, Nigeria and Presentation of the S&D Group Africa Week 2017 Youth Message to the 5th Africa-EU Summit
Internal event (Open to S&D Group Members and staff)
Contact person: Zoltán Simon, S&D Group Secretariat

12.00-14.00    Global Progressive Forum - Rainbow Rose Round Table / LGBTIQ Rights in Africa and in Europe: Creating a Common Roadmap
Public event upon registration
Altiero Spinelli Building (ASP) room 3G3
European Parliament
Interpretation in EN, FR
Contact person: Simona Russo, GPF Secretariat

12.00      Welcome Speeches    
MEP Enrique Guerrero Salom, co-Chair Global Progressive Forum
Vilma Vaitiekunaite, Rainbow Rose Vice-President

12.10      African perspective on the LGBTIQ situation: Gay Rights are Human Rights!
More than 4 African countries out of 5 have laws criminalizing homosexuality, or even LGBTI* rights advocacy. Legal rights are diminishing for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people across the African continent. On several occasions, the European Parliament has reminded the EU of its commitment against all forms of discrimination in all the places it acts. How can we provide advocacy strategies that secure and advance the human rights of LGBTI and sex worker communities? Secondly, stigma, discrimination, and lack of capacity among healthcare workers are seen as major barriers in accessing health services for LGBTI people, how can we guarantee equal access to health care system?


Moderator Tanja Fajon, Member of the European Parliament and Vice-President of the S&D Group

Speakers :
Anthony Oluoch, Program Manager Pan Africa ILGA (Kenya)
Edinedi Essiomle, President of AFTA Association (Togo)

12.40      European perspective on the LGBTIQ situation: Building a non-homophobic society.
As recent developments in Europe show, having non-discriminative laws does not prevent homophobic feeling; but when this feeling is encouraged or not punished by the authorities, it can favour violence towards LGBTI people, including rapes and killings. The process of visualizing a non-homophobic society begins with understanding the prevalence of homophobia at the present, making a commitment to change, and developing a vision for the future. Without establishing goals and a vision of the ideal future it is difficult, if not impossible, to make advances toward social reform.


Moderator Jose Santoro, Secretary General of Rainbow Rose

Speakers:
Yuri Guaiana, Campaign manager for All out Organisation (Italy)
Sedef Cakmak, Councellor of Besiktas Municipality (Turkey)

13.15      Open debate Joël Le Deroff, Rainbow Rose Board Member
with the participation and the testimony of Ms Nnaobi Ifeatu from All Out Organisation (Nigeria) and LGBTI Activist Zam Ebale Martino (Cameroon)


13.50      Closing Remarks
Soraya Post, Member of the European Parliament


14.30-19.00    S&D Group Conference / African Future
Public event upon registration
József Antall Building (JAN) room 4Q2 European Parliament
Moderator: Wendy Bashi, journalist
Interpretation in EN, FR, IT
Webstreamed event: www.socialistsanddemocrats.eu
Contact person: Jennifer Dunsmore, S&D Group Secretariat

14.30-15.15         Opening session
Towards a renewed Africa-EU partnership


Speakers:
Federica Mogherini, High representative of the Union for foreign affairs and security policy
Jean-Louis Moulot, Deputy chief of cabinet of the President of Ivory Coast
MEP Gianni Pittella, President of the S&D Group

Sergei Stanishev, President of the Party of European Socialists


15.15-16.30            Panel 1
Migration, climate change and food security: Preserving the future


Introductory remarks: MEP Elena Valenciano, Vice-president of the S&D Group

Speakers:
Marcel-Héritier Kapitene, Political activist, Democratic Republic of Congo
Haja Razafimandimby, Founder of Food for Mada, Madagascar

Iréné Zerbo, Coordinator of the International Center for Communication and Development, Burkina Faso


 
Closing remarks: MEP Norbert Neuser, S&D Group coordinator in the European Parliament Committee on Development (DEVE)


16.30-17.45            Panel 2

Access to education and youth employment: Investing in the future

Introductory remarks: MEP Linda McAvan, Chair of the European
Parliament Committee on Development (DEVE)


Speakers:
Gideon Burger, Managing director of Axiology Labs, South Africa

Stefano Manservisi, Director General, Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO), European Commission
Caroline Mutho Muiya, Acting chair of the Afrikasi Kenya Educational Project, Kenya

Kwabena Nyarko Otoo, Director of research and policy at the Labour Research and Policy Institute of the Trade Union Congress, Ghana

Closing remarks: MEP Enrique Guerrero Salom, Co-chair of the Global Progressive Forum

17.45-19.00            Panel 3

Youth activism, democracy and human rights: Shaping the future

Introductory remarks: MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri, Chair of the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI)

Speakers:
Boni Dihoukan Lydie, Executive director of the Women’s Centre for Democracy and Human Rights, Ivory Coast
Patient Ligodi, Journalist and founder of Actualité.cd, Democratic Republic of Congo
Yves Makwambala, Political activist, Democratic Republic of Congo
Esdras Ndikumana, Journalist, Burundi/France

Closing remarks: MEP Knut Fleckenstein, S&D Group coordinator in the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET)


Thursday 28 September

9.00-10.45    S&D Group Seminar / Monitoring the Economic Partnership Agreements: The Role of Civil Society
Public event upon registration
Altiero Spinelli Building (ASP) room 3G2 European Parliament
Interpretation in EN, FR
Contact person: Christopher Williams, S&D Group Secretariat

Co-chairs: MEP Maria Arena, S&D Group coordinator at the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly
                MEP tbc

Panel 1
SADC and CARIFORUM: A model for other EPAs?

Speakers:
Brenda King, Member of the European Economic and Social Committee, president of the Sustainable Development Observatory
Junior Lodge, Team leader at the ACP Technical Barriers to Trade Programme, Programme Management Unit
Yentyl Williams, President and founder of the ACP Young Professional Network, member of the EU-Cariforum Joint Consultative Committee

Panel 2
The role for civil society in ECOWAS: What can we do to deliver real sustainable development?

Speakers:
Sanoussi Bilal, Head of Programme Trade, Investment and Finance of the Economic and Agricultural Transformation Programme at the European Centre for Development Policy Management
Tetteh Hormeku, Head of programmes, Third World Network Africa, Ghana
Kwabena Nyarko Otoo, Director of research and policy at the Labour Research and Policy Institute of the Trade Union Congress, Ghana


11.00-13.30    S&D Group Film & Debate Event / Natural resources and societies in Africa
Film: Mines de rien (2015)
         Pungulume (2016)
Public event upon registration
Sandwich lunch Altiero Spinelli Building (ASP) room 3G2 European Parliament
Moderator: Wendy Bashi, journalist and filmmaker
Interpretation (debate) in EN, FR
Contact person: Rose Bagudu, S&D Group Secretariat

With the participation of
MEP Cécile Kyenge, Vice-president of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly
Patient Ligodi, Journalist and founder of Actualité.cd, Democratic Republic of Congo
Yves Makwambala, Political activist, Democratic Republic of Congo
Marcel-Héritier Kapitene, Political activist, Democratic Republic of Congo
Gabriele Salmi, Filmmaker
MEP Elena Valenciano, Vice-president of the S&D Group


Registration for one or several public events of the S&D Group Africa Week 2017 at www.withafrica.eu


The S&D Group Africa Week 2017 is organised in partnership with the
Global Progressive Forum (GPF)

The S&D Group Africa Week 2017 is organised in cooperation with
ACP Young Professional Network (ACP YPN)
BOZAR
Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS)
Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES)
International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY)
Party of European Socialists (PES)
Party of European Socialists Women (PES Women)
Rainbow Rose
SOLIDAR
Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)
Young European Socialists (YES)

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.



Gianni Pittella and Cécile Kyenge at Malkohi refugee camp, Nigeria

 

Press Releases

Tanja Fajon tfajon ·
2017-11-20

[NAPOVED] Ob 15.00 sodelujem na konferenci ‘Razvojno sodelovanje #EU glede na Agendo 2030 in strategijo #EU-#Afrikahttps://t.co/1hX6vVV4xR

S&D Group TheProgressives ·
2017-11-16

Thanks to S&D efforts, #Eplenary adopts an important report on EU-#Africa relations ahead of the 5th AU-EU Summit.… https://t.co/hb6ChlMDkF