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Erasmus-Nyerere: A new exchange programme for African and European projects?

On the 12th of October, the European Commission adopted a new EU strategy for Africa, which includes a framework for action for all 25 EU member states to help Africa's development so that it can meet the eight UN Millennium Goals by 2015. This was followed by a joint meeting between the European Commission and the Commission of the African Union, leading to the adoption of a joint declaration.

Building on three cornerstones of sustainable development (peace, security and good governance) the EU strategy has outlined several concrete initiatives. To deepen the partnership between Europe and Africa, the EU strategy proposes the following:

  • Twinning partnerships between universities, schools, municipalities, businesses, parliaments and civil society;
  • Creation of a pan-European voluntary service for young people with skills to share who are interested in Africa’s development;
  • Building on the experience and success of the Erasmus programme, a similar programme for student exchange between Africa and Europe will be examined.

Along these lines, the Commission aims to found a new form of Erasmus called Erasmus-Nyerere (after Tanzania's independence leader Julius Nyerere). The total strategy that has been proposed set out plans for how an additional €10 billion per year in EU aid to Africa will be used to address these issues and others.

Questions and Answers: The “European Union Strategy for Africa”