AU-EU MPs push on gender, migration ahead of summit

The 5th European Union-African Union Summit. Photo by: EU

ABIDJAN — Girls and women’s rights, as well as migration, are among the top priorities for African and European parliamentarians, who met on Monday and Tuesday in Abidjan ahead of the AU-EU Summit.

Roughly 30 high-level representatives from the European Parliament and the Pan-African Parliament hashed out a list of 11 talking points for the summit, including on gender equality, peace and security, youth, climate change, human development, business and investment, democratic governance, and human rights.

6 things to watch at the 2017 AU-EU Summit

African and European leaders are preparing to meet in Abidjan for the 5th African Union-European Union Summit. While youth are the official focus, migration and security are likely to dominate conversations. Here are Devex's top six things to watch for this week.

The final statement, seen by Devex, calls attention to the fact that “women and girls represent a bit more than half of the world’s population, but their social, economic, and political status is lessened compared to men and boys.” The document calls for “equality of opportunities in terms of access to decision-making structures, resources, technologies and that human rights remain protected.”

Migration was another priority topic for the meeting, Aurelien Zingas, Pan-African Parliament member and first vice-president to the national assembly in Central African Republic, told Devex. Recent footage of African migrants being sold in modern day slave auctions in Libya has caused outrage on the continent. “We talked about it many times, and we will publicly condemn it at the summit,” Zingas told Devex.

The declaration addresses both departure and arrival countries for migrants, stressing that movement must be legal and voluntary. It urges both AU and EU members to address the root causes of migration that prompt the perilous journey of millions to Europe.

In the area of infrastructure development, the statement remarks on the importance of creating physical structures such as roads to schools and hospitals, and generalizing access to electricity in Africa. The parliamentarians’ list of priorities will be presented to the estimated 80 heads of states expected at this week’s summit, with an expected audience 5,000.

Read more Devex coverage of EU-Africa relations.

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About the author

  • Christin roby

    Christin Roby

    Christin Roby is the West Africa Correspondent for Devex. Based in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, she covers global development trends, health, technology, and policy. Before relocating to West Africa, Christin spent several years working in local newsrooms and earned her Master of Science in videography and global affairs reporting from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Her informed insight into the region stems from her diverse coverage of more than a dozen African nations.