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Spain and African Union agree to strengthen political relations

May 19, 2022
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares, met today in Madrid with the Deputy Chairperson for the African Union (AU) Commission, Monique Nsanzabaganwa, to address strengthening relations between Spain and the pan-African organisation, of which Spain is an observer State. During the meeting, they signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on political dialogue and sector collaboration.

During the meeting, Minister Albares acknowledged the role of the AU in recent years in fostering peace, stability and prosperity on the African continent, particularly its defence of democracy and peacekeeping efforts, as reflected in the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). He also highlighted Spain’s commitment to stability, sustainable development, particularly in the fight against terrorism in the Sahel and maritime activities in the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Guinea.   

The minister also welcomed the fact that Spanish became a working language of the AU in 2020, as well as an official language, and conveyed Spain’s interest in contributing to strengthen the use of this language by the organisation.

The Deputy Chairperson for the African Union Commission thanked Spain for its growing role in relations with this organisation, both at a bilateral level and within the framework of the European Union. She highlighted the significant cooperation that Spain provides, which has led to the creation of the NEPAD-Spanish Fund for the empowerment of women. Monique Nsanzabaganwa conveyed the AU’s interest in continuing to count on the support of Spain in this field, along with others related to young people, migration, the diaspora, the health sector and the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

They both welcomed the signing of the MoU which spans different areas of collaboration, such as peacekeeping and security, the application of the 2030 Agenda and the 2063 Agenda of the African Union and the mobilisation of resources in jointly identified areas. The two parties also expressed their intention to maintain political consultations on an annual basis.

This instrument, which strengthens collaboration and dialogue at a multisector level, is a qualitative change in bilateral relations and will contribute to strengthen Spain’s foreign action on the African continent within the framework of the 3rd Africa Plan.