Role of France in 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.
France-African Union Dialogue
In Addis Ababa, France maintains a permanent dialogue with the African Union, about crisis monitoring and management, the implementation of the EU-Africa partnership or the development of the UN-AU partnership. France ensures that the voice of the African Union is heard in multilateral fora.
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.
France is a bilateral partner of African Union initiatives. In particular, it provides substantial financial support to the African Renewable Energy Initiative and to the African Risk Capacity. Through the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), France funds NEPAD programs, such as the 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.
The 5th EU-AU Summit will take place on 29 and 30 November 2017 in Abidjan.