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Africa is a political and strategic priority for Spain, not only because of its geographical proximity but also because of the multidimensional range of opportunities it currently offers. Spain’s 3rd Africa Plan, approved on 1 March 2019, reflects this priority and focuses on the vision of Africa as an opportunity and not just as a source of threats.

250---Africa-4.pngThe President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, during the presentation of the Africa Forum 2023 at Moncloa Palace . Photo: Moncloa

The 3rd Africa Plan is a foreign policy strategy based on a current analysis of the region and Spain's presence on the continent. It aims to introduce a broader approach than previous plans, which were highly focused on development cooperation, although it attempts to incorporate and boost the abundant synergies that exist with the 5th Master Plan for Spanish Cooperation 2018-2021, in addition to other sectoral strategies such as the National Security Strategy and the Strategy for the Internationalisation of the Spanish Economy. It also seeks to join forces in line with the new priorities and objectives within the framework of the European Union's relations with Sub-Saharan Africa.

At a global level, this strategy also represents an instrument for the political d​evelopment of Agenda 2030 in the sub-continent. This approach coincides with the objectives of the African countries themselves, expressed in the African Union’s Agenda 2063, and with those of the European Union, expressed in EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy (EUGS, 2016), among other reference documents, which is expected to create opportunities for consultation with our African and European partners.

Minister  ​​José Manuel Albares ​​​​​​​and the State Secretary for Foreign and Global Affairs, Ángeles Moreno Bau,  at  ​the openin​g session of the Africa Board. Madrid, January 2022. Photo: NOLSOM-MAUC

The 3rd Africa Plan aims to mobilise all the resources of Spanish society, not only those offered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation and the Spanish Embassies, but also those of other Ministries, the Autonomous Communities, Local Corporations, the private sector, academia, NGDOs and civil society as a whole. To this end, it gives priority to five principles on which the Plan is based: partnership, differentiation between the different tools and actions on the basis of each situation and country (distinguishing between anchor countries which, owing to their size and regional prominence, can act as exporters of stability to their neighbours and absorb intra-African migratory flows in an orderly manner - Nigeria, South Africa and Ethiopia - and countries of association, which are stable and have great growth potential - Senegal, Angola, Mozambique, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya and Tanzania), multilateralism, unity of external action and promotion of the Agenda 2030 for the defence of human rights and gender equality.

The specific actions are aimed at four strategic objectives: the promotion of peace and security (including diplomacy, the Armed Forces and Spanish Cooperation); the promotion of sustainable development driven by inclusive economic growth that generates employment and opportunities; the strengthening of institutions and support for orderly, regular and safe mobility. In addition, these strategic objectives are specified in other specific objectives and their indicators, which appear in Annex V to the Plan.

205 - Africa-6.jpg The former Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, at the Summit of Heads of State of the G5-Sahel, held in Mauritania in February 2020. Photo: MAEC​

As a novelty, this new Strategic Plan shall be subject to external evaluation based on the fulfilment of its objectives and indicators through the appropriate means provided by the Institute for the Evaluation of Public Policies of the Ministry of Finance​ and the Public Function.

​​In short, Spain’s new Africa Plan expands Spain's radius of action in Africa both thematically and geographically and gives it a strategic coherence that shall allow it to increase its presence and be a significant player in the changing African scenario of the 21st Century.​


Related documentation

Third Africa PlanIt opens in new window

Focus Africa 2023​

Meeting of African and Spanish think tanks on African Women empowerment and WPS_report final​

EEAS AfricaIt opens in new window

African UnionIt opens in new window

UN portal on AfricaIt opens in new window

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