Back to top

The future of European-African cooperation in science, innovation and higher education

The future of European-African cooperation in science, innovation and higher education

The Strategic Forum for International S&T Cooperation (SFIC) is a dedicated configuration of ERAC (European Research Area and Innovation Committee) that facilitates the further development, implementation and monitoring of the international dimension of the European Research Area, with focus on European Union and Member States’ research and innovation activities outside the EU and Associated Countries.

On the 5th of May 2020 the Strategic Forum for International S&T Cooperation published a report on SFIC Africa Task Force Strategic Report, providing an analysis and orientations for future European-African cooperation in science, innovation and higher education. 

For more than a decade now, the European Union and the African Union have built a solid strategic and political partnership, anchored in reciprocal commitment and based on shared values and interests. Both continents are facing the same key challenges: the need to promote sustainable growth and jobs, the green transition, digital transformation, mobility, security and good governance, and nowadays, most crucially, a pandemic.

This makes enhanced collaboration between Europe and Africa even more relevant in a fast-evolving, interconnected global environment. Research and innovation are widely recognised as strong and effective engines for sustainable development, and – as we are seeing in the present moment – they are enablers for bringing solutions to the table. The role of research and innovation activities and policy is becoming key and urgent in facing Africa and Europe’s shared challenges. This is part of the reason why one of the pillars proposed in the Communication from the European Commission to the European Parliament and the Council ‘Towards a comprehensive strategy with Africa’ is dedicated to the enhancement of learning, knowledge and skills, and research and innovation capacities, particularly for youth and women. In line with the Sustainable Development Goals, this priority is fully supported by the Task Force and serves as a motivation for our work. The SFIC Africa Task Force believes that research, innovation, and higher education policy are enablers of positive change, and takes inspiration from this as it works towards enhanced collaboration between the continents.

Those interested can find a copy of the report under the resource tab of the AEIP website here