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European Union and African Union leaders to meet


European Union and African Union leaders to meet

EU African Union
Photo: African Union Commission

European Union (EU) and African Union (AU) leaders are expected to meet today via videoconference.

Although the global pandemic caused the 2020 EU-Africa Summit to be postponed to 2021, EU and AU leaders have continued to hold talks on regional security and COVID-19-related issues.

Recent EU-AU joint efforts include Monday’s signing of a partnership between the EU and African Centres for Disease Control (CDC). The four-year initiative, titled “EU for health security in Africa,” aims to increase African CDCs’ capacities to respond to health emergencies using strategies that rely on data gathering. Monday’s agreement saw a $10.9 million EU pledge to fund the initiative on top of the $8.25 billion it has already provided to support COVID-19 response efforts under its “Team Europe” global pandemic response initiative.

In the short term, EU-AU relations will continue to strengthen around the pandemic. Thus, it is likely that today’s leadership meeting will follow up on Monday’s agreement. For the EU, pandemic response synchronicity is vital to combatting COVID-19. Since Africa is a geographic neighbour, coordination provides the EU with a degree of control over the virus’ spread as information sharing is a crucial component of the relationship between both blocs.

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