Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 224

“As a region, Africa was number one in terms
of third party, non-EU participation in the
programme. EU researchers have worked
together with African researchers from 45
countries. In total we have supported around
570 projects and a total of €190m went to
researchers fromAfrica. The main co-operation
is in the traditional areas such as food security,
environment, climate change and health, but
we also have a couple of less traditional areas
of co-operation.
“Not surprisingly, because we have a bilateral
agreement with South Africa and because the
EU research and innovation programme is still
a programme where the evaluation of project
proposals is based on excellence, we can see
that the first countries that we participate with
are South Africa and mostly the countries of
northern Africa. Yet we also have a lot of
co-operation with researchers from Kenya,
Ghana, Uganda and Tanzania.”
Buisman then highlighted three pivotal points
on which EU and Africa research co-operation
has been designated as the ‘European Year for
Development’. According to the European
Commission, the series of events offers
development organisations ‘unparalleled opportunity to showcase
Europe’s commitment to eradicating poverty worldwide and to inspire
more Europeans to get engaged and involved in development’. Being the
deadline for the Millennium Development Goals, this year will also see
international leaders come together to agree a new global framework
towards realising these commitments.
The EU and Africa held their historic first summit in the Egyptian capital
Cairo in 2000 and have since developed close international political ties.
The continents are also closely co-operating in the area of research and
development, as Portal discovered when the journal travelled to Brussels
to attend the ‘EU Development Aid: Experiences and Recommendations
from Stakeholders Driving Science and Innovation’ breakfast seminar.
Addressing delegates was Nienke Buisman, policy officer for Africa, South
Africa and the African Union Commission in the European Neighbourhood
Policy, Africa and the Gulf Unit of the International Co-operation
Directorate, DG Research and Innovation in the European Commission.
She began by detailing the participation of African countries in Horizon
2020’s predecessor, the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), and the
main areas of research collaboration between the EU and Africa.
Building the bridge
H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
S P E C I A L F E AT U R E : E U R O P E & A F R I C A
© EU/ECHO/Martin Karimi
Travelling to Brussels to attend an EU development aid event,
from the European Commission’s
Nienke Buisman
on establishing closer
collaborative research and innovation ties
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