(from left): Pedro T. Delgado (Aquaphytex), Aguibou Diarrah (African Union), J.A. Ruiz de Casas (European Commission, DG REGIO), Martín Guillermo Ramírez (AEBR)

On the 7th and 8th November 2011, the AEBR organised a workshop on “Opportunities for Cross-border Cooperation in Africa”. This event took place in the premises of Casa Africa, a public institution of the Spanish Government specialised in Africa-Europe relations. This archipelago which symbolizes the link between Europe and Africa is also very active in CBC. 

The main objective of this workshop was to discuss the report presented by the AEBR which deals with CBC in West Africa, the situation, opportunities and challenges. This paper was elaborated following the call of the European Parliament in order to make recommendations on CBC’s future in Africa.

Impressions from the venue

The following conclusions result from the debates:

  • CBC projects should be the response to a need: reduce poverty and insure food security, promote peace and stability.
  • Cooperation between EU and UA should allow building “bridges”. The EU should include CBC in Africa in its strategy of cooperation with Africa. 
  • Cooperation should be more than institution building; citizens’ ownership should be taken into account.
  • CBC should be the basis of African integration process.

Following the contributions of European and African experts in CBC, ambassadors, national and regional governments’ officials, NGOs as well as scholars and businessmen, new perspectives have been discussed and will be added in an updated version of the AEBR’s report. Its final version will be handed in very soon at the Commission. However, this handing in of the report does not mean the end of the work on this topic. A Road Map is expected soon in order to continue the reflection and above all the action in the field of CBC in Africa.

A more detailed report about this meeting is available for download (in French).  

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