Relation between France and the African Union
France has observer status with the African Union, and is one of its main partners. The Embassy in Addis Ababa is also the Permanent Representation of France to the African Union.
The strategic dialogue between France and the African Union Commission
In Addis Ababa, France maintains a permanent dialogue with the African Union, about crisis monitoring and management, the implementation of the EU-AU partnership or the development of the UN-AU partnership. France ensures that the voice of the African Union is heard in multilateral fora.
A declaration of intent was signed by Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and President Moussa Faki Mahamat on 8 June 2018 to establish a strategic dialogue and a cooperation between France and the AU Commission. The first France-AUC strategic dialogue took place on 11 June 2019 in Paris.
The high-level political dialogue is very dense. French authorities regularly come to Addis Ababa to meet with the leaders of the African Union. The former Chairperson of the AU Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, visited Paris in December 2015 for COP21. Her successor, Moussa Faki Mahamat, spoke to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 16 May 2017, just two months after taking office. The African Union Commission is invited to participate in the Africa-France summits, the 27th edition of which was held on 14 January 2017 in Bamako. The President of the Republic attended the 31st AU summit that took place in July 2018 in Nouakchott.
France is also a bilateral partner of African Union initiatives. At bilateral level, it provides financial support to this organization and its different specialized agencies in the framework of different projects amounting to 21 million euros on the period 2014-2020. This substantial support benefits for instance to the African Renewable Energy Initiative, to the African Risk Capacity, and to the NEPAD’s Rural Futures program. Finally, in the framework of a partnership with the International organization of La Francophonie (OIF), France supports the teaching of the French language to the benefit of the AU Commission staff.
European Union - African Union Partnership
Through the EU, France is contributing to the financing of the institutional capacities of the African Union, notably in the area of peace and security, but also in a multitude of sectors such as education, science and technology, or the development of intra-African trade. It is also contributing, in partnership with the AU, to the financing of the AU mission in Somalia (AMISOM), to the Multinational Joint Task Force fighting against Boko Haram (MNJTF), and to military exercises for the operationalization of the African standby forces. This support is provided mainly via the EU African Peace Facility and Pan-African Program. It is implemented in the framework of the Joint EU-Africa Strategy (JAES) adopted in 2007, which has been translated into a 2014-2017 Roadmap.
Numerous French actors, be they public or private, take part in the implementation of EU-AU cooperation projects. This includes notably IRD, CIRAD, INSEE as well as Expertise France.
The 5th EU-AU Summit took place on 29 and 30 November 2017 in Abidjan.