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.




The S&D Group is delighted to announce the second S&D Group Africa Week. The event will address the theme ‘Youth and the Future of Africa’ and will take place from Monday 25 to Thursday 28 September in Brussels.

The event is organised by the S&D Group 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), Young European Socialists (YES).

Find out more about the event in the programme


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


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
European Parliament
Interpretation in EN, FR
Contact person: Rose Bagudu, S&D Group Secretariat

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 de Solbosch (auditorium tbc)
Moderator: Marie-Soleil Frère, Vice-Rector for International Relations and Development Cooperation, ULB
Event in FR
Webstreamed event
Contact persons: Zoltán Simon, S&D Group Secretariat - Marie Fierens & Ornella Rovetta, ULB

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

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
Contact persons: Anne Morin, GPF Secretariat - Lesia Radelicki, PES Women Secretariat 

15.30   Panel 1
Empowering women as political leaders

16.30   Panel 2
Enhancing fundamental rights and empowering women as active citizens

19.30-22.00    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
Web streamed event
Interpretation in EN, FR
Contact persons: Zoltán Simon, S&D Group Secretariat - Kathleen Louw & Ayoko Mensah, BOZAR

19.30  Demonstration of the 3D printer created from e-waste by Woelab (Togo)

20.00  Panel discussion

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

Morning   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 1E3 European Parliament
Interpretation in EN, FR
Contact person: Simona Russo, GPF Secretariat

12.10    Panel 1
African perspective on the LGBTIQ situation : Gay Rights are Human Rights

12.40   Panel 2
European perspective on the LGBTIQ situation : Building a non-homophobic society

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
Web streamed event
Contact person: Jennifer Dunsmore, S&D Group Secretariat

14.30    Opening session
Towards a renewed Africa-EU partnership

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

16.30   Panel 2
Access to education and youth employment: Investing in the future

17.45   Panel 3
Youth activism, democracy and human rights: Shaping the future

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

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

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

11.00-13.30    S&D Group Film & Debate Event / When Elephants Fight
Public event upon registration in cooperation with Stand with Congo
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

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)
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
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 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.

Gianni Pittella and Cécile Kyenge at Malkohi refugee camp, Nigeria


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