EU-AU Initiative Boosts Global Health and African Sovereignty in Strategic Partnership Expansion

A high-level conference commemorating the growth of the important EU-AU health relationship was organized by the European Union and the African Union Commission (AUC). The AUC, the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), and the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) led the AU mission. The European Commission and the Belgian Presidency of the European Council headed the EU delegation.

The AU and EU increased cooperation in priority areas of shared interest in the New Public Health Order and the EU Global Health Strategy, such as bolstering pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, One Health, AMR, digital health, climate and health, building on the health commitments of the 6th EU-AU Summit and the outcomes of the Addis Ababa AU-EU High-level dialogue. This alliance serves as a good illustration of how the AU and EU work together to promote global health in international forums.

Achieving SDG targets like Universal Health Coverage will require strengthening national sovereignty and providing equitable access to safe, high-quality, cost-effective healthcare services and goods.

As a result, it is critical to promote social protection programs that include social health protection in order to progressively achieve universal health coverage and financial security in the event of illness. The role of the health sector in growth and job creation was emphasized once more by the AU and EU. Additionally, they pledged to finish discussions on international health regulations and a pandemic agreement by the World Health Assembly in May 2024.

The EU is investing in bolstering Africa’s health security infrastructure and collaborating technically on health on the continent through this high-level summit. Delivering on these promises will require the EU’s Global Gateway strategy, particularly through Team Europe Initiatives. This will increase the resilience of the health systems in Europe and Africa to the rapidly changing health burden, social protection, the effects of climate change and new health threats while taking into account cutting-edge science, the sharing of technical expertise and knowledge and multi-stakeholder commitments.

Aligned with the common goals and interests of European and African partners, the European Commission and the Belgian Presidency will monitor the outcome of the high-level meeting in the European Council and the governing bodies of the EU’s foreign cooperation instruments.