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African Union (AU)

The European Union’s (EU) partnership with Africa is a top priority for the European Commission. As immediate neighbours, Africa and the EU share not only a rich history, but also common values and interests. The EU engages in political and policy dialogues through the Africa-Europe Partnership, which defines its cooperation relations with Africa. The AU-EU High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) on Science, Technology and Innovation is responsible for formulating long-term research and innovation policy priorities with the objective of strengthening Africa-Europe cooperation. Based on the work of the HLPD, the thematic priorities for research and innovation were announced during the first ministerial meeting of the AU and EU research and innovation ministers in July 2020. The following areas have been identified as priorities for innovation and technology, green transition, public health and capacity for science and higher education.

In practice, South Africa accounts for a significant proportion of AU participation in the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA). In the years 2014-2020, the country alone accounted for 25% of all African MSCA participation, with Morocco, Tunisia and Kenya also making notable contributions. AU research under H2020 MSCA was strongest in natural sciences and social sciences, with engineering and technology ranking third, followed by medical and health sciences, agricultural sciences, and humanities. This aligns with the AU-EU R&I priorities.

For more detailed information on the AU R&I landscape and MSCA participation, check out the documents below.

Click to download the PDFs:

AU factsheet Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

AU R&I cooperation status: Key facts and figures