Q1/2020 - African Union
The 10th joint meeting of the African Union Commission and the European Commission (AUC-EC Commission-to-Commission/C2C) was held in Addis Ababa on 27 February 2020. The meeting was co-chaired by the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, and the President of the European Commission (EC), Ursula von der Leyen. The one-day consultations also addressed issues of cyber security and the digital economy. The two Commissions agreed to establish a Digital Partnership. An AU-EU Digital Economy Task Force shall advance the digital transformation in Africa and help to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. In particular, the following five areas are named:
- Support the development of digital infrastructures;
- Build a secured single digital market in Africa by 2030;
- Develop national Internet policies and regulations;
- Develop digital skills by means of appropriate training programs;
- Promote digital innovation and entrepreneurship.
Both sides further agreed closer cooperation in combating cyber crime and measures to strengthen security and trust in cyber space and to enhance data protection. Already in 2014, the African Union adopted an “African Union Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection. However, up to now only five of the 55 AU Member States have ratified the convention. The convention cannot become effective until the 15th instrument of ratification or accession is deposited. On 11 December 2019, the African Union has established a new group of experts on cyber security. The first session of the working group had been planned for end of March 2020 but had to be postponed indefinitely due to the Corona crisis.