AU-EU Summit February 2022, Side Events

A Science Agenda

Draft Programme


The AERAP Africa-Europe Science Collaboration Platform will organise side events at the AU-EU Summit on 14-17 February. The purpose of the meeting will be to promote awareness of the contribution of collaborative research and development as a critical aspect of EU-Africa relations and collaborations, in particular in addressing global challenges together.

The general topics that will inform the discussions include:

The Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument, NDICI, also known as Global Europe, needs to reflect the enormous potential of collaborative and inclusive science to address the policy objectives addressed by the instrument, including digital transition and the Green deal; the Communication from the Commission on the Global Approach to Research and Innovation is a key paper: the Communication is intended to … serve as a guide in implementing the international dimension of the new EU programme for civil research and innovation, Horizon Europe, and its synergies with other EU programmes, in particular the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument – Global Europe.

Accelerate an inclusive approach to collaborative research, recognising Africa leadership and the untapped potential of women and girls to contribute to science and innovation. This needs to start with a more cohesive and inclusive approach to policymaking and regulations impacting Africa and research collaborations with Africa.

Consider how to leverage synergies between funding mechanisms led by the EU and development finance provided by the African Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, the World Bank and others.

Raise awareness of the unforeseen and unintended impact of EU regulations on potential research collaborations. These include data privacy, the General Data Protection Regulation, the In-vitro Diagnostics Regulation (IVDR), the Medical Devices Regulation (MDR) and the Clinical Trials Regulation. Good regulation cannot act as a barrier between EU and African researchers. African nations need to build their enabling regulatory environment and regulatory compliance with the EU. There is also an urgent need to create an enabling environment for trust-based relationships.

Indigenous knowledge can as a force for good and part of the equation when promoting Africa-Europe science collaboration, including developing relevant information services and linking indigenous knowledge to data capacities; patent data. WTO TRIPS Art. 66.2 is critical also in this regard.

The meeting will also consider the importance of the SDGs in this context, including enabling local and community (UN Local 2030) science and efficacy as part of the global response.

Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Member States of the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU) met in Kigali, Rwanda, on 26 October 2021, took stock of progress regarding the priority areas adopted during the last AU–EU Summit held in 2017, in Abidjan. The Communique provides some guidance on priorities for the AU-EU Summit on 17-18 Feb 2022.

AERAP responds to the European Parliament Written Declaration 45 on Science Capacity Building in Africa. This call was repeated by the Heads of State of the African Union through their Decision Assembly/AU/Dec.407 CXVIII. AERAP encourages policymakers to understand the need for an enabling policy and regulatory environment for science cooperation with Africa and championing leadership in Africa and Europe to demonstrate science’s contribution to society and address shared global challenges.

Draft Programme of the AU-EU Summit Side Events

Monday 14 February 2022

08h00 Impact of regulations on science and innovation in Africa Convened by ISC

09h00 Biodiversity, ecosystem services and nature-based solutions Convened by LifeWatch ERIC

11h00 Africa-EU universities and research collaboration Convened by African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA)

14h00 Skills, reskilling and upskilling Convened by Innopharma

16h00 Digital Transformation for Health Convened by ISC

Tuesday 15 February 2022

08h00 Green Deal Convened by CIFOR-ICRAF

09h00 Africa-Europe Agenda for cooperation in Astronomy Convened by African Astronomical Society (AFAS)/EAS/ AERAP

11h00 Green Medicines in Africa Convened by CapeBio Technologies /M4F/BOKU

14h00 Health research and innovation, with a focus on industry leadership Convened by NOVARTIS Africa

16h00 Diagnostics Convened by Lancet Commission on Diagnostics

Wednesday 16 February 2022

08h00 Africa-EU collaboration on the SDGs Convened by UNDP/UNOOSA

09h00 Partnering for the development of sustainable clinical research infrastructures and a skilled workforce in Africa Convened by EDCTP/ECRIN

11h00 Policy Roundtable Convened by AERAP et al

14h00 Research Infrastructures Convened by The European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI)

16h00 Assistive Technologies Convened by NUIG

Thursday 17 February 2022

08h00 Digital Transformation in Africa Convened by AERAP/UN ITU

09h00 Industry Platform Convened by AERAP

11h00 InSpire: Global Schools Satellite Project Convened by ISC/Les Massanassa/ CIT

14h00 Investing in science and innovation in Africa Convened by EIB/IMF/VCs (maybe AfDB)

16h00 Personalised medicine

Friday 18 February 2022

08h00 UN Year of Basic Science Convened by UNESCO

09h00 Africa-EU Geoscience for Sustainable Development Convened by GeoScience Council South Africa (GSC)/ Ireland Centre for Applied Geoscience (iCRAG)

11h00 Science Diplomacy Convened by DLR Project Mgt Agency

14h00 Space Convened by AZO Space

16h00 Social science and Geoscience – what can we slean?