1st Regional Africa Meeting of the Policy Forum on Development (PFD)

Caption: Mr. Ousseine Diallo,(centre), Business Africa Employers Confederation Treasurer during the Policy Forum on Development meeting in Dakar.

The EU Policy Forum on Development (PFD), organized the first Africa Regional PFD meeting in Dakar, Senegal, on October 3-4, 2016.The Forum provided an opportunity to take stock of achievements and limitations since the last Africa Multi-stakeholder Meeting held in Nairobi, of December 2014. It was also an opportunity to reflect on major issues such as the post Cotonou agreement and the SDGS and how Africa is prepared to tackle both. More specifically, what is or would be the role of Africa PFD actors in implementing the two agendas”.

The Policy Forum on Development (PFD) was launched by the European Commission in November 2013 after a consultation process with civil society organisations and local authorities from all regions of the world.

The Dakar Forum was the third regional meeting of the PFD and the first one to take place in Africa. It presented an opportunity to discuss and debate on issues of interest at this crucial time and prepare the agenda for the Global PFD meeting in March 2017.

A session on enabling environment for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda served to share stakeholders’ perspectives on Africa’s role and experience in the implementation of the SDGs. It was also noted by participants that the very concept of enabling environment has a different meaning for CSOs, LAs and the private sector.

Participants discussed in working groups the factors that facilitate or prevent the implementation of 2030 Agenda at national level. As factors facilitating factors, groups agreed on the opportunities the SDGs offer to CSOs to access to policy-making, and how CSOs can provide useful experience and data to governments. Given that indicators can be developed at regional level, there is still a chance to shape the agenda, as well as to harmonize the 2030 Agenda with the African Union 2063 Vision.

There was also a panel discussion with the European Commission and diverse stakeholders on the main elements that will define the future relationship between Africa and the EU, notably in the wake of the revision of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement after 2020.

A last session was devoted to the very salient issue of fragility and migration, which is high on both the EU and Africa’s agenda. This session focused on examples to address fragility, resilience, peace-making and migration.  With diaspora remittances currently exceeding ODA, there is need for a greater voice of migrants in development issues.

The PFD Africa meeting was followed by a gathering of the PFD Task Team, which discussed the Forum’s upcoming meetings in 2017. The next Global PFD meeting takes place in Brussels on 22-23 March 2017, and two big policy areas are on the draft agenda: 1. migration, employment and youth, and 2. crisis, fragility and resilience. The European Commission will also organize a Partnership Forum in May/June 2017.

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