European Union’s Africa Working Party Engages Nigeria in Strategic Partnership Talks

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Members of the Council of European Union’s Africa Working Party (COAFR) have commenced a four-day working visit to Nigeria, aimed at strengthening strategic partnerships and engaging with key stakeholders in the country.

The delegation, led by representatives of all 27 EU Member States, will engage with Nigerian authorities, government agencies, civil society groups, regional and international organizations, and private sector actors in Abuja and Lagos from February 26 to 29, 2024.

COAFR is mandated with the supervision and management of EU external policy towards sub-Saharan Africa, the African Union, and other sub-regional organizations, including ECOWAS. This visit marks the group’s first-ever working visit to Nigeria and underscores the importance the EU accords its partnership with the country.

During their stay, the COAFR members will meet with key federal government ministries and agencies in Abuja, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Office of the National Security Adviser, and the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning. They will also engage with the ECOWAS Commission on regional developments and integration processes.

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In Lagos, the delegation is scheduled to meet with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Consuls General of EU Member States, and the leadership of the European Business Chamber (EuroCham) Nigeria. They will also visit several EU-funded projects in the state, focusing on digital and innovation, critical infrastructure and connectivity, and migration.

The visit aims to promote direct contact, mutual information exchange, and feedback between the EU and African counterparts. It also serves to take stock of state and non-state actors’ views, perspectives, aspirations, and expectations regarding their partnership with the European Union.

COAFR’s visit underscores the EU’s commitment to enhancing its partnership with Nigeria and West Africa as a whole. It follows earlier visits to Senegal and Burkina Faso in 2015 and Ivory Coast and Ghana in 2019. The delegation’s engagement with Nigeria highlights the EU’s focus on strengthening cooperation in areas such as energy, security, and strategic dialogue.

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