Delegation of the European Union to the African Union

EU Projects with African Union (AU)

11/05/2016 - 13:16

The two main sources of EU funding for the African Union are the African Peace Facility (APF) and the Pan-African Programme (PANAF).

The APF was established in 2004 in response to a request by African leaders. Financed through the European Development Fund, it constitutes the main source of funding to support the African Union's and African Regional Economic Communities' efforts in the area of peace and security with an overall amount of more than EUR 2.7 billion since 2004.

The PANAF, established in 2014, provides dedicated support to the Africa-EU Strategic Partnership and is the first ever EU programme for development and cooperation that covers Africa as a whole. The programme is funded under the EU's Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) with a budget of €845 million for the period 2014-2020.

This page provides an overview of selected projects managed by the Delegation. For the full range of Pan-African projects funded by the EU, please visit the Africa-EU Partnership website.

African Union Support Programme (AUSP)

Since 2007, the AU Support Programme has been a key support instrument for the Joint Africa-EU Strategy and for the African Union. The main objective of the programme is to contribute to the AUC mission to become an efficient and value-adding institution contributing to the implementation of the AU vision as an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the international arena. The AUSP enters its fourth phase in 2019, with a contribution of €30 million.

European Union Support to the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA)

Through the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), the AU and African regional organisations are working together to build a strong basis for the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts and crises in Africa.

The EU's APSA Support Programme was launched in 2011 as the flagship initiative to strengthen the basic institutional capacities of the AU and the Regional Economic Communities/ Regional Mechanisms on peace and security, so as to operationalise the APSA and achieve the AUC's ambitious objective to "silence the guns by 2020".

The content and design of the APSA Support Programme mirrors the strategic priorities identified in the 2016-2020 APSA Roadmap by the AUC and RECs/RMs:

  • conflict prevention (early warning systems);
  • crisis and conflict management (African Standby Force and mediation support unit(s));
  • post conflict reconstruction and development (PCRD), Security Sector Reform (SSR) and Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR);
  • strategic security issues (terrorism, Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW), maritime security, etc.); and
  • coordination and partnerships.

As part of Joint Financing Agreements with other partners, the EU has in parallel sustained the costs of AUC personnel working on the implementation of peace and security programmes at the AUC, and the operational capacity of the AU's Liaison Offices, which aim to promote peace and security in post-conflict countries.

IGAD Promoting Peace and Stability in the Horn of Africa Region (IPPSHAR)

The project is funded by the EU Emergency Trust Fund for stability and addressing the root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa, and it aims to support IGAD in the implementation of its Peace and Security Strategy 2016-2020.  The overall objective is to contribute to achieving sustainable peace, security and stability for the attainment of economic integration and development of the IGAD region. The project will tackle four distinct areas of work: improving the quantity, quality and speed of data collected under the IGAD Conflict Early Warning and Response Mechanism (CEWARN) system; enabling IGAD and governments of the region to predict, prevent, and counter transnational security threats; enhancing regional capacity for preventive diplomacy, mediation and peace-building; and making IGAD's Peace & Security Division more effective. The project is implemented by the Austrian Development Agency through a delegated cooperation agreement. Sweden, Austria and Netherlands also contribute.  The programme covers a four-year period from 2018 to 2022. The IGAD Secretariat will receive a €5m grant to enhance the effectiveness of IGAD's Peace & Security Division. The implementation period of the grant is 36 months.

Strengthening the African Human Rights System

The objective of this €10 million project is to strengthen the African Human Rights System in the framework of the African Governance Architecture (AGA), to ensure a transparent, democratic and accountable environment in the respect of human rights and rule of law in Africa. The project is implemented by the four main organs dealing with human rights in Africa: the Pan-African Parliament, the African Court on Human and People's Rights, the African Commission on Human and People's Rights, and the Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. The main areas of cooperation are: 1) Ratification, domestication and implementation of AU instruments; 2) Capacity building of implementing partners; 3) Coordination between the four pillars of the African human rights system  (Member States, treaties, supervisory bodies, and civil society); and 4) Increased awareness of and access to the African human rights system.

African Union Capacity in Election Observation (AUCapEO)

The objective of this € 6.5 million project is to enable the AU to conduct credible long-term election observation to international standards. The project tackles different aspects of developing and implementing a long-term methodology including the development of human capacity, the development of a methodological and technical basis, and the deployment of long-term missions. This project is implemented by the African Union Commission (in particular the Democracy and Electoral Assistance Unit, DEAU).

AU-EU Youth Cooperation Hub

The AU-EU Youth Cooperation Hub is a multi-stakeholder initiative seeking to test new approaches to common challenges facing African & European Youth alike. It builds on the ideas presented by youth at the 5th AU-EU Summit in Abidjan in 2017 and seeks to turn them into reality. As core drivers of the Hub, 42 Young Experts from Africa, EU and Diaspora, of 28 nationalities, will work with the AU, the EU and other partners to help define the scope of pilots projects - and monitor their implementation – in 6 areas:

  • Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Culture, Arts and Sports
  • Education and Skills
  • Environment and Climate Change
  • Governance
  • Peace and Security

Small-scale pilots, with maximum impact, visibility and result-evidence will be implemented by Civil Society Organisations, with EUR 10 million. In November 2018, the Hub was selected by the Paris Peace Forum as one of the ten most promising governance initiatives presented.

To find out more, visit

Policy and Regulation Initiative for Digital Africa (PRIDA)

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure in Africa has evolved significantly during recent decades. Still, in comparison with other continents Africa lags behind, for example in terms of widely available and affordable broadband access. Generally affordable and accessible ICT services have the potential to generate benefits such as more competitive markets, social inclusive growth and more equitable development. The 5th AU-EU Summit in Abidjan in November 2017 also strongly stressed the need to unlock the potential of the digital economy for Africa and Europe in the creation of jobs, skills and economic development for the youth. In that context, the PRIDA aims to foster universally accessible and affordable broadband across the continent to unlock future benefits of internet based services. The specific objectives are a) to facilitate efficient and harmonised spectrum utilisation, b) to harmonise measurable ICT/Telecommunications policy, legal and regulatory frameworks and c) to strengthen the ability of African decision makers to actively participate in the global internet governance debate. The action contributes to Pillar 3 of the EU's External Investment Plan (EIP) by focusing on better regulation and development of markets in partner countries, improving employment opportunities and supporting the development of the local private sector.

Monitoring for Environment and Security in Africa (MESA) and Global Monitoring of Environment & Security (GMES)

MESA and GMES are EU-AU programmes funded through the European Development Fund, with the aim of increasing the information management, decision-making and planning capacity of the African institutions responsible for environment, climate and food security. Jointly implemented with the European Commission's Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW), the Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), these programmes foster collaboration between European and African specialized centers to use the European Copernicus programme as a major source of data, information, and technological know-how for delivery of climate services across the entire African continent.

Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA)

As part of the broader GCCA programme the EU is supporting the institutional capacity, as well as the coordination functions, of the African Union Commission and regional organizations, in the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). The specific objectives of the programme include: a) To strengthen the African voice in climate negotiations and promote the African Position; b) To strengthen the capacity of the African Union Commission to effectively coordinate, advocate for and facilitate Regional Economic Communities, regional organizations and AU Member States in the implementation of NDCs and the Paris Agreement; and c) To enhance the capacity of the AUC, ECCAS, IGAD and IOC to support and facilitate the implementation of Africa’s key flagship programmes on climate change.

African Union Research Grants (AURG)

The EU-funded AU Research Grants programme aims to empower African researchers – particularly in the area of science and technology – and to enhance collaboration between research institutions on the continent.

In the first phase, 20 institutions received grants totaling almost USD 20 million for research in 3 thematic areas:

  • Post-harvest and agriculture
  • Renewable and sustainable energy
  • Water and sanitation

These projects have been executed in 46 locations across Africa with the involvement of 54 research networks.

A second phase of the AURG programme was launched in 2016. The specific objective of the latest round of grants, worth USD 9 million, is to fund research projects aiming to eradicate hunger, ensure food and nutrition security, and contribute to Africa's poverty reduction strategies, economic growth and social development efforts.

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