We are looking forward to working with you in 2016
ADNE appreciates the contribution of all its Partners to its success in the year 2015.
2015 has marked a historic momentum for the African diaspora in Europe. ADNE has strengthened its position on several fronts and has quickly asserted itself as a major player in Development Cooperation and EU-Africa Partnership.
2015 was a crucial year; a milestone year for development, it is the year in which key decisions with long-term impacts on the entire world were taken both at International and European Levels.
Throughout the European Year for Development, ADNE has taken its place in the policy space, building relationships between the diaspora and National authorities, EU and other international organizations.
In 2015, ADNE bolstered its support to the diaspora and built strong relations with diaspora organizations. Today, ADNE can congratulate itself for having established a good track record with regard to its mission of assisting African diaspora members to engage with policy makers. Other achievements worth mentioning include:
In June 2015, at the European Development Days, ADNE brought together 10 Organizations from African Diaspora Networks as well as European and International organizations such as UNESCO and the Foundation for European Sustainable Tourism (FEST) for the organization of a high level Panel on Culture and Development. The stakeholders jointly signed a manifesto that was presented at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on the 6th October 2015. The Stakeholders Manifesto strongly called on governments and policy-makers at all levels, who will play a role in implementing the post-2015 global development framework and sustainable development goals to place culture at the heart of future policies for sustainable development.
In September 2015, ADNE supported the organization of the Round table of African Diplomatic Missions on migration. The event was marked by an inclusive debate on the migration crisis in which ADNE participated alongside the representatives of African Union, ACP Secretariat, Belgian Parliament, Belgian Senate and the Mission of Libya to the EU. ADNE was also invited to address the Joint ACP-EU Parliamentary Committee on Social and Environment affairs on the migration crisis.
In October 2015, ADNE, in partnership with MEP Louis Michel and the European Parliament, organized a meeting between a delegation of African Diaspora members and the Members of the European Parliament to discuss the key topical issues in the area of EU-Africa Partnership such as Migration, the Management of Natural resources in Africa etc. The delegation consisted of African diaspora from various organizations operating in different EU members States. This was the first time that Members of African Diaspora were invited to the European Parliament as recognized European citizens.
ADNE has been at the forefront of the Advocacy for better Development policies. Through its experts, ADNE participated in conferences, briefings and press points to give the perceptive of the African Diaspora on several topical issues such as Migration, the Post-2015 Development Agenda, the future of ACP-EU partnership in the Post-Cotonou, Gender Empowerment and Food Security, the COP21 etc.
On global issues, ADNE has made it a priority to ensure that the voice of the diaspora continues to be heard through Press releases, which are distributed to a database of about 300 members. ADNE released joint declarations and Press statement on different key international event such, Africa – EU Summit on Migration (the joint Declaration of 125 African Diaspora Members), the Global Diaspora Week 2015, 70th Anniversary of United Nations, Paris Climate change COP21, World Aids Day etc.
ADNE has also taken its message to the public through media collaborations with various TV Broadcasters. For instance, ADNE spoke to France 24 (Talking Europe) under the theme of “EU rethinks development policy” alongside the Ethiopian Minister of Environment and the Director General of Development Cooperation at EU Commission. ADNE highlighted that Development aid shall sustain the capacities of Developing countries to ensure access to public services and move beyond aid dependency. The Post-2015 Agenda has to be a final step towards Non-aid".
ADNE have worked and will continue to work hand in hand with African and ACP institutions on issues of Development and on the upcoming framework of partnership between the EU and ACP countries.
ADNE is actively involved in the discussions that aim at defining a way forward after the expiration, in 2020, of the Cotonou Agreement that governs the ACP-EU Partnership. After 40 years of its existence, the assessment of this partnership and the future framework form one of the main Focus for the EU and ACP countries
ADNE follows closely the work of the Eminent Persons Group that is conducting consultations and developing recommendations to shape the position of ACP countries during the negotiations on the future Framework. ADNE was part of the first presentation of the work of the Group and participated in the follow-up debate organized by ACP Secretariat alongside Euractiv, ACP Embassies, DG DEVCO – European Commission and other Brussels based organizations.
Furthermore, ADNE was invited to present the view of the African diaspora on the matter, in the framework of the Addis Ababa Summit organized by the African Union, ECDPM and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung on the 8th December 2015.
Among the strategic objectives of ADNE in 2016 are, raising the necessary funds for the realization of the organization’s purpose and mission, strengthening the relationship with Diaspora Associations across Europe, raising ADNE’s profile and strengthening the partnership with EU institutions, African Union and African countries, ACP and Belgian Authorities, increasing activities in terms of Advocacy for Development and fostering integration of African Diaspora and promoting their sustainable involvement in the advocacy and policy matters.
In terms of advocacy for development, ADNE sees the issue of the future of ACP-EU relations as a key priority.
Following the launch of SDGs, it became imperative for the ACP Group and EU to move to a position of engagement on equal footing bearing in mind the global challenges facing both partners. SDGs should stimulate the establishment of creative forms of ACP – EU cooperation. The ambitious global goals have some strategic domains of the ACP- EU cooperation such as rule of law, global justice and human security, intra ACP trade, industrialization and regional integration, South-South and triangular cooperation etc.
There is need to transform the ACP group into a global player. The future ACP – EU cooperation has to build on collaborative approaches, creative accountable methods and innovative interventions which will allow the ACP group to be more effective and visible taking into account national and regional specificities.
The future cooperation between ACP countries and Europe has to be based on egalitarian principles: mutual respect and mutual trust for a win-win relationship. A charity-based partnership cannot deliver a sustainable relationship and aid alone is not a sufficient instrument for Development. The Post-Cotonou has to maximize the development impact of non-aid policies to be able to reach the SDGs. It has to strengthen developing countries’ self-reliance and ownership of their destiny.
The future framework has also to promote the role of diaspora as important development partners. They can no longer be silent financiers; they are a source of knowledge and North-South Gap-Bridge builders and they have to become partners in policy making.
In short, the Post-Cotonou cannot be a simple continuation of the past; the current structure has to be revised to respond to the new context on both sides.
Evidence shows that the Diaspora is a force to be reckoned. The transfer of funds and knowledge from diaspora accelerates the development of the countries of origin. Diaspora remittances account for more than three times the Official Development Assistance (ODA). In the host countries, the Diaspora is a true locomotive for economic growth. Diaspora Members fill a labor gap which contributes to helping many ailing sectors of the host countries. According to the OECD report of 2014, every migrant contributes on average 3,500 euros in tax revenue per year. The Diaspora is crucial for the next phase of development agenda, implementation of transformative global agendas and integration of the diaspora in the European Policy Space.
ADNE is committed to continue to ensure that the way policies are made is more inclusive of diaspora. ADNE will continue to occupy the role of “Leadership” for African Diaspora in Europe by being an example and a reference point.
ADNE has made incredible strides due to the commitment and ambition of its team as well as the support of its Partners. The year ahead shows great promise, and the work done this year will lay a firm structural foundation that enables us to continue to deliver with the efficiency that is needed to achieve our mission.
Marie Chantal Uwitonze