On 2 December 2021, the Think Tank for Africa hosted an insightful webinar on ‘African-European collaboration: funding opportunities and challenges’ that provided different perspectives (funding managers, cooperation experts, and practitioners) on the topics. The event was the last of the SGroup Think Tank Academy series of 2021, which included five webinars, two Roundtables and two conferences.
The first-half of the event consisted of two comprehensive presentations that provided participants with a view on the topic. Murray Biedler discussed key institutional actors, key agreements (AU-EU Partnership 2021), trends, African Union Higher Education institutions (ARUA, Pan African Universities and AUDA-NEPAD Network Centers) and EU funding for EU-AU collaboration. Fadila Boughanemi, from the European Commision, then gave an overview of the Horizon programme and the Africa initiative, highlighting the new EU strategy for Africa and strengthening the message that policy and research and innovation should go hand in hand.
In the second part of the event, two SGroup members presented previous collaboration experiences between the EU and Africa. Sarah Blichfeldt from the University of Gothenburg, presented SASUF (sasuf.org), its evolution and key factors for success, and Norma Derby from Stellenbosch University shared the main challenges and opportunities in the Intra-Africa programmes. This led to an interesting dialogue on lessons learned, successes, and relevant aspects to tackle in future projects.