Gabriel travels to Abidjan for AU EU Summit 

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel is travelling to Côte d’Ivoire

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel is travelling to Côte d’Ivoire, © Thomas Trutschel/photothek.net

27.11.2017 - Article

Whether in the area of migration, climate change or security, Africa and Europe are more reliant upon one another than ever before. The heads of state and government of the European Union (EU) and the African Union (AU) are therefore meeting in Côte d’Ivoire.

Foreign Minister Gabriel is travelling to Abidjan for the African Union-European Union Summit in the early hours of Tuesday morning (28 November). In Côte d’Ivoire’s capital, the Foreign Ministers will discuss issues that are crucial to developments in Africa and the EU. Items on their agenda include the fragile security situation in the Sahel region, as well as rapid population growth and humanitarian crises. This is already the fifth summit to be held between the EU and the AU

Events in Africa have a direct impact on Europe

Police training in Mali
Police training in Mali© Florian Gaertner/photothek.net

The unstable situation in the countries of the Sahel region has a direct impact on Europe. Weakened by terrorism and tribal conflicts, countries such as Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso and the Niger are at risk of becoming havens for human traffickers and armed militias. Germany has long been committed to bringing greater stability to the region. For example, the Federal Foreign Office is providing financial support for police training measures and for projects to promote reconciliation among rival ethnic groups.

Focus on helping people to help themselves 

At the summit in Abidjan, Foreign Minister Gabriel intends to advocate gearing the EU’s support in the Sahel region even more closely to helping people to help themselves. “We must ensure that these countries are able to prevent conflicts before they emerge in the first place”, said Gabriel. Germany intends to promote initiatives that help the countries in the region to achieve greater security themselves, such as a joint force for the Sahel countries Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and the Niger.

Promoting responsible investment

Rapid population growth: school children in Uganda
Rapid population growth: school children in Uganda© Thomas Koehler/photothek.net

Economic prospects are also key to stable development. Populations on the African continent are growing rapidly. Harnessing the economic opportunities of this development and avoiding its risks is one of the most urgent challenges for the future. Representatives from the EU and the AU will therefore discuss joint measures to promote responsible investment, education and infrastructure.