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ONE: Empty promises will not create the 22 million jobs Africa needs each year

ABIDJAN –  ONE is calling on EU and African leaders to take concrete action and support a renewed  partnership based on quantifiable commitments to empower Africa’s youth and improve governance and accountability.

The 5th African Union-European Union Summit held in Abidjan, on 29-30 November, is a major opportunity to launch an ambitious 2018-2020 roadmap for the mutual benefit of a continent with a growing and ever younger population, and one with an increasingly elderly population.

With its population set to double by 2050 –  half of which will be under the age of 25 – Africa needs investments in youth education, employment and empowerment to harness this “demographic dividend.”  

As the cornerstone of long-term development, education must be the catalyst to empower this young population.

This will require EU and AU leaders to commit to the full financing of multilateral mechanisms such as the Global Partnership for Education.   And with 51 million girls out of school in Africa, EU and AU leaders need to address the gender gap by adopting specific measures to break down the barriers keeping girls out of school.  

Rudo  Kwaramba-Kayombo, Executive Africa Director at ONE, says: “AU and EU leaders must make this a historic summit where they set the basis for a prosperous future cooperation to harness the best both continents have to offer.  

They must commit to action and invest in long-term development. Empty promises will not deliver the 22m jobs needed each year.

So let this summit be the moment that AU and EU leaders realise that by investing in the education, employment and empowerment of youth, they can properly build future security and address the current migration crises.”

Friederike Röder, ONE’s France Director and spokesperson in Abidjan, says: “With half of Africans under the age of 25 by 2050, there is no more time to waste to put concrete policies in place to harness the potential of Africa’s youth for their continent and the whole world.

Who would disagree that education is a fundamental investment?  That is why the EU needs to think long-term and commit additional funds for education programs, especially international multilateral mechanisms such as the Global Partnership for Education.”


For information and interviews:

Friederike Röder, France Director at ONE, will be in Abidjan for the Summit. She is available for interviews and briefings in English, French and German.

Short bio: Graduated from a master in political science and international relations from Sciences Po Paris and Freie Universität Berlin, Friederike Röder has been working with the OECD, the German International Cooperation and the African Union. She has been representing ONE at different international summits (G20, G7, etc.) and is an expert in development, governance and peace and security.

For any request, please contact in Abidjan : Annabel Hervieu (senior media manager) [email protected] / +33631228968

Notes to editors:

ONE’s key recommendations:

  • The EU and Member States should recommit to ODA targets and work towards spending 0.7% of their national income on development aid overseas and prioritize the poorest and most vulnerable countries by increasing the share of ODA to LDCs and Africa.
  • All new commitments on peace and security must be additional to existing ODA commitments and shouldn’t be counted as ODA unless they are in line with the existing OECD definitions.
  • AU and EU leaders should develop joint principles for additionality, development impact standards, for blended finance. They should agree to jointly evaluating the EIP and other private sector instruments in one year. Private sector investments should complement rather than replace vital public investments and other concessional financing.
  • AU leaders should commit to expanding tax bases and the share of spending on education to reach 5.8% of GDP, and EU leaders should increase funding for education in line with the Global Partnership for Education, ensuring funds are allocated in alignment with strengthened education sector plans.