Africa-Europe Summit Under the Aegis of the OAU and the EU : Cairo, 3-4 April 2000 - Cairo Plan of Action


We, the Heads of State and Government of African States and of the European Union, as well as the President of the European Commission, meeting in Cairo, Egypt on 3 – 4 April 2000 at the kind invitation of His Excellency Mohammed Hosni Mubarak, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, under the Co-Presidency of the President of Algeria, his Excellency Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in his capacity as Chairman of the OAU, and the Prime Minister of Portugal, his Excellency António Guterres, in his capacity as President of the European Council, committed to work towards a new strategic dimension to the global partnership between Africa and Europe have agreed on the following Plan of Action, emphasising the guiding priorities for action to be considered before the second Summit. We are convinced that these actions will contribute to the achievement of the principles and commitments contained in the Cairo Declaration.


Regional Economic Co-operation and Integration

We agree to:

1. Strengthen the support for the process of regional co-operation and integration in Africa. In this context, We will create the necessary environment and develop an effective framework for promoting a constructive dialogue on political, economic, social and development issues.

2. Support regional integration programmes in Africa that are geared to increasing efficiency by eliminating constraints to cross-border trade, investment and payments, and achieving a harmonised economic space.

3. Urge the competent authorities to expedite programmes for capacity building in African regional and national institutions in the area of economic co-operation and integration.

4. Strengthen the capacity of African regional integration institutions, notably the African Economic Community (AEC), and support them in the formulation and implementation of their programmes consistent with the objective of the Abuja Treaty, on the basis of needs assessment which will in particular take into account the impact of multilateral trade liberalisation on regional integration.

5. Promote the implementation of best practices in project formulation and execution, regional sectoral projects, and the harmonisation of macroeconomic and sectoral policies that will help the implementation of Africa’s economic co-operation and integration efforts and the speedy establishment of the African Union.


6. We acknowledge both the opportunities and challenges that globalisation offers for all states and commit ourselves to co-operate in order to enhance a political, economic and social environment, conducive to promoting international co-operation, foreign direct investment and other resource flows.


We agree to:

7. Deepen the link between trade and development in the multilateral trading system, in order to ensure that the benefits of further trade liberalisation and the strengthening of multilateral rules contribute to poverty reduction and sustainable development. We shall pay particular attention to this concern in the future WTO Ministerial Conferences and will cooperate in ensuring the further development of Africa's economic and industrial potential.

8. Enhance the capacity of African countries to derive maximum benefits from opportunities offered by the WTO, taking into consideration the activities carried out in this regard by the AEC. We shall also provide resources for enhancing the capacity of African countries to enter into Economic Partnership Agreements with the EU to formulate appropriate trade policies and to participate actively in trade negotiations, including in the framework of the WTO.

9. Take action to improve the special and differential treatment enshrined in the Marrakech agreements and to address the implementation constraints which African countries are facing.

10. Support African countries by providing technical assistance in order to enhance their capacities to respond to the challenges and opportunities offered by their integration into the global economy.

11. Support the development of programmes on diversification and the enhancement of production capacity in Africa.

12. Ensure that trade arrangements between the EU and Africa enhance co-operation in all trade related areas, building on regional integration initiatives existing within Africa and in line with the goals and objectives of the Abuja Treaty.

13. We acknowledge the commitment of the EU to launch a process in 2000, by which by 2005, duty free market access for essentially all products from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) will be granted and the rules of origin and cumulation provisions that apply to their exports simplified.

Private Sector Development

We agree to:

14. Support the efforts of African countries in continuing to adopt sound macroeconomic and other policy reforms, including adjustment policies, as well as the effort of the public sector in creating the enabling environment for the development of private sector activity.

15. Improve the public-private sector dialogue between and within our regions and encourage North-South co-operation for private sector development in African countries. This will imply the strengthening of private sector representative institutions (through capacity and institutional building), as key actors of a reinforced North-South dialogue, public-private partnership and the setting-up of Joint Business Fora as a possible voice of southern interest in the international debate.

16. Cooperate with African countries in building capacity in the private sector through the exchange of experience in business management and the stimulation of joint ventures, investment and trade promotion and the support for the development of micro-finance schemes and the informal sector.


We agree to:

17. a) Commit ourselves to the creation of a conducive environment in Africa for an enhanced private sector development, including macro and micro economic foundations of competitiveness.

b) Work with governments and private sector in order to improve a regulatory framework for business community.

c) Develop at national and regional levels, including with the AEC and the RECs, programmes on the promotion of foreign direct investment flows into Africa.

18. Support South-South co-operation through triangular mechanisms, with a view to building capacity in business management, exchange of experience, as well as promoting joint ventures, and mergers and acquisitions, inter alia through technical assistance aimed at strengthening the African financial markets and instruments.

19. Develop better information on investment in Africa, and strengthen African small and medium enterprises through schemes and instruments to be determined. Encourage joint ventures between African and European investors, with the support of EU. The establishment of African-EU management centres in Africa, in order to provide avenues for European technology services could enhance Africa’s entrepreneurship in this respect.

20. Co-operate in dealing with the problem of capital flight from Africa in all its aspects, including to offshore financial centres, and examine appropriate measures to that end.

Resources for Development

We agree:

21. That concessionary resources (of the ODA type) are required in order to address as a priority, the structural rigidities that constrain Africa's development effort, especially the development of human resources capacities and poverty eradication as well as in the expansion of physical infrastructure and production capacities.

22. To intensify efforts to meet the internationally agreed targets for resource transfers to developing countries.

23. To encourage all partners of development co-operation, donors as well as beneficiaries, to organise their development assistance more effectively, to work for enhanced co-ordination and complementarity, inter alia by harmonising and simplifying procedures.

Infrastructural Problem and Industrial Base

We agree to:

24. Continue to support African countries in their efforts to increase their production capacities, strengthen industrial base, enhance competitiveness and diversify their economies.

25. Continue to support African countries in their efforts to expand their transport and communications network and services with a view to increasing access to rural and isolated areas as well as interconnecting their national networks.

26. Enhance their capacity to create a propitious environment and to build capacities in the regulatory, policy-making and operations fields.

27. Provide financial resources and technical support for the development and maintenance of infrastructure and industry and promote the involvement of the private sector.

28. Support programmes on economic transformation and the strengthening of industrial base in Africa while taking into account environmental and health concerns in the continent.

29. Attach high priority to air safety in Africa and agree to co-operate to enhance the capacity of African countries to implement communications, navigation, surveillance, air traffic management and safety systems including appropriate programs.

Research and Technology

We agree to:

30. Encourage the formulation of comprehensive programmes in the development and transfer of technology with special emphasis on science and technology, indigenous technologies, the development of educational and training systems, and information technology.

31. Support technological change in Africa, as well as the development and upgrading of Africa’s indigenous technologies in recognition of the critical role of technology in Africa’s development and economic transformation.

32. Assist African countries in their efforts to build and rehabilitate their institutional infrastructure and to enhance the transfer and development of technology, through inter alia, technology information and innovation centres.

External Debt

We agree :

33. To welcome the Enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative agreed last year and call on the international community to ensure its speedy implementation. This initiative will provide additional resources for poverty reduction strategies. We also welcome other initiatives on a bilateral basis, including those for the cancellation of the ODA debts.

34. To welcome the EU commitment to contribute 1 billion Euros to the HIPC initiative and the link of this contribution to measures on poverty reduction. We also call on all creditors to participate fully, by providing their proportional share of HIPC debt relief in a timely way.

35. To facilitate the implementation of measures that will prevent unsustainable debt levels in Africa, through inter alia, effective policy reforms and improved debt management.

36. To support African countries in channelling the amounts of resources from debt relief to poverty eradication strategies and programmes, including in social and infrastructural sectors. In this regard, We reaffirm the commitment to achieve the globally agreed target of poverty reduction by half by the year 2015.

37. That the bi-regional group at Senior Officials’ level will take the necessary measures to prepare a report on the external debt of African countries, which will be studied within a reasonable timeframe at Ministerial level in the framework of the follow-up mechanism.

Cooperation in International Fora

We agree to:

38. Work together for the improvement of international understanding and co-operation for development and human progress.

39. Take into account the interest and concerns of African States, in particular the LDCs, in all international fora.

40. Work towards the attainment of the goals and objectives adopted in major international conferences organised under the UN auspices.


Human Rights

We agree to:

41. Promote and fully respect and protect human rights in our respective countries in order to secure the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all human beings regardless of their gender, race, place of origin, religion, social status, ethnic background, political opinions and languages.

42. Adopt a comprehensive approach to the task of eliminating the causes of human rights violations.

43. Strengthen our co-operation and national capabilities and provide needed technical assistance to promote Human Rights.

44. Encourage the ratification and implementation of all major international human rights instruments and full co-operation with the agreed international human rights mechanisms.

45. Encourage all States, who have not done so, to incorporate international human rights norms in their national constitutions and legislation.

46. Support institutions and organisations dealing with the protection of human rights, including through the provision of financial assistance.

47. Be vigilant in all political action, as well as in the formulation and application of development policies, so that they assure equality of treatment and opportunities for all.

48. Work towards the promotion and protection of the rights of women including through the elimination of violence against women and girls and the full application of all relevant instruments, in particular the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

49. Adopt measures to combat violence against women and children, including elimination of all forms of exploitation of children, in particular to stop the use of child soldiers and support their rehabilitation and re-integration.

50. Ensure fundamental freedoms, in particular freedom of the press.

51. Fully support the establishment of the International Criminal Court and urge States to ratify the Rome Statute at the earliest opportunity.

52. Urge States to implement international humanitarian law in full, in particular by adopting national legislation to tackle the culture of impunity and to bring to justice the perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, by ensuring that international humanitarian law is fully integrated into the training programmes and operational procedures of armed forces and the police force and by ensuring during armed conflicts that impartial humanitarian organisations have secure, rapid and unimpeded access to the civilian population.

Democratic Principles and Institutions

We agree to:

53. Support the establishment and consolidation of democratic public institutions on the basis of pluralism, separation of powers, participatory processes and respect for human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law.

54. Consolidate democratic institutions and provide necessary institutional and financial assistance for their consolidation.

55. Consolidate fair, transparent and independent judiciary systems on the basis of the rule of law.

56. Support the active role for civil society groups as important pillars of a democratic and stable society.

57. Ensure the holding of regular, transparent, free and fair elections and develop the necessary capacities for their smooth organisation and monitoring.

58. Guarantee the full participation of our people in the decision-making process as well as the equitable distribution of national wealth.

Good Governance and Rule of Law

We agree to:

59. Support and encourage efforts to promote good governance and strengthen the rule of law, specifically to enhance State capacity to carry out core policy and service delivery functions, enhance transparent and accountable Government, prevent corruption and ensure security and access to justice for all. In this context We will provide technical assistance, training and share our experience and expertise.

60. Take effective action to prevent and combat bribery, corruption and nepotism which are recognised to be among the major obstacles to good governance and economic and social development.

61. Take necessary measures to combat corruption both at internal and international levels and to ensure that illegally acquired public moneys lodged in foreign banks are investigated and returned to the countries of origin.

62. Express our concern at the adverse impact on development of continuously increasing military expenditure.

Civil Society

63. We agree to recognise the role of NGOs in creating and maintaining a vibrant civil society.


We agree to:

64. Support, as appropriate, African countries in ensuring free intra-African mobility of labour and migration in the spirit of the Abuja Treaty.

65. Collaborate in addressing the root causes of migration and asylum-seeking in source, transit and recipient countries.

66. Collaborate further in the issue of the reciprocal integration of migrants, migrant rights and re-admission agreements between the European and African countries.

67. Recognise the need for measures to combat racism and xenophobia and to secure the respect of the dignity and protection of the migrants’ rights, to which they are entitled, under applicable international law, notably the right to fair treatment based on the principle of non-discrimination.

Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDP)

In order to address the problem of refugees and displaced people, We agree to the following urgent actions:

68. Fully implement all relevant conventions.

69. Co-operate closely for the eradication of the root causes of refugees and displaced persons.

70. Continue to provide assistance to refugees and displaced persons and to participate in their voluntary return and in their reintegration in conformity with international law and relevant UN conventions.

71. Support efforts by international and national bodies and actors in order to ensure the safeguarding of the civilian and humanitarian character of refugee camps and settlements.


Peace-building, Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution

We agree to:

72. Contribute to securing an environment of peace and security in our countries.

73. Tackle the root causes of conflicts with a view to preventing further conflicts.

74. Reinforce the continental and regional mechanisms for conflict prevention, management and resolution through, among others, the strengthening of the OAU Mechanism, and the enhancement of the capacity and the effectiveness of the Conflict Management Centre.

75. Work towards the operationalization of the OAU Early Warning System.

76. Reinforce existing co-operation in order to contribute to the resolution of ongoing conflicts.

77. Continue to provide political, material and financial support as appropriate for the facilitators of the peace processes.

78. Elaborate programmes to sensitise and raise the awareness of our people about the culture of peace.

79. Use the experience acquired by the EU for the strengthening of OAU’s and sub-regional organisations’ operational capacities. We also welcome the Sirte Summit decision to convene an African Ministerial Conference on Security, Stability, Development and Co-operation on the Continent to be held in Abuja, Nigeria, in May 2000.

80. Support the involvement of women in conflict prevention and peace building by including a gender perspective in agendas for peace negotiations and by facilitating the active participation of women in alternative diplomacy and at peace negotiating tables.

81. Take measures to stop the illegal exploitation of natural resources and to combat the illicit trade in certain high value commodities, particularly diamonds, which often exacerbate and perpetuate conflict. We call on all States to implement fully and enforce the relevant UN sanctions.

Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration

82. We agree to support programmes for disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration. In this respect special attention will be given to child soldiers and to the provision of vocational training to former and demobilised combatants. This should be associated with the effective management and the eventual destruction of accumulated small arms and light weapons.


We agree to:

83. Work together to improve international co-operation in the fight against terrorism with a view to eliminating such a phenomenon in all its forms and manifestations in accordance with our international obligations, the UN Charter and general norms of international law, including the respect for human rights. In particular, We support the central role of the UN in fighting terrorism and undertake to work together to achieve the widest possible international adherence to the UN anti-terrorist conventions, including through the convening of an international conference on terrorism.

84. Speed up the ratification and full implementation of the relevant Conventions on terrorism.

85. Strengthen co-operation in order to forestall and combat terrorism and develop appropriate strategies and methods and, in particular, to exchange as and when desired information thereon.

Small Arms and Light Weapons

We agree to:

86. Intensify efforts to fully co-operate at international fora to combat the problem of illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons, including reducing the flow of arms to conflict regions, and support relevant African and European initiatives.

87. Endeavour to ensure the success of the UN conference on the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects in 2001.


We agree to:

88. Provide financial and technical assistance for the removal of existing landmines in African countries.

89. Work towards assisting and rehabilitating landmine victims, promoting mine awareness and developing the national capacities and skills in de-mining.

The 2000 Review Conference on the NPT

We agree:

90. To work closely in order to conduct a comprehensive review of the implementation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons with a view to achieving a successful outcome of the 2000 Review Conference, bearing in mind the fundamental importance of the three decisions and the resolution adopted by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference, and considering the peaceful use of nuclear technologies and the establishment of new nuclear weapon free zones, in accordance with the relevant UNGA resolutions, among the States of the region concerned.

91. To support the PELINDABA Treaty signed in Cairo, establishing the African continent as a nuclear weapon free zone, and in this regard, reiterate our common commitment to contribute to the strengthening of the non-proliferation regime and nuclear disarmament.

Post-conflict assistance

92. We agree to assist in the rehabilitation of destroyed infrastructure and in the creation of a conducive physical environment for development in countries emerging from conflict situations.


Challenges to Sustainable Development in Africa and Poverty Eradication

We agree to:

93. Continue to work together to fight poverty. We reaffirm our commitment to meeting the International Development Targets and will continue to focus our poverty eradication efforts by supporting approaches which integrate the pursuit of economic growth with political, social, environmental and cultural considerations.

94. Support the formulation and implementation of strategies and policies, as well as programmes that are directed at poverty eradication, especially in the rural areas, through inter alia, the revitalisation of the rural economies, and the setting up of social safety nets. In this context, We share the hope, expressed by the OAU, for the creation of a World Solidarity Fund to address Africa’s development with special focus on poverty eradication.

95. Support initiatives to integrate gender in macroeconomic planning and the establishment of budgets that take into account the gender issue.


We agree to:

96. Work for the achievement of education for all, prioritising the attainment of the International Development Target of universal primary education by 2015 and gender equality in schooling by 2005. We are committed to strengthening our co-operation to ensure that sound, costed strategies for the achievement of these key objectives are in place and receive strongly co-ordinated support.

97. Support African governments in their efforts to give high priority to the building of national and regional capacities in the area of science and technology, through the formulation of sound and effective national policies for education and training in science and technology for development, as well as in networking of regional and national institutions and centres of excellence. In this regard, We call upon African governments to devote at least 1% of their GDP to the development of these areas.

98. Support the effort of African countries in the creation of a suitable environment for the retention of African experts within the continent, and agree on the need for action to reverse the brain drain.


We agree to:

99. Work towards the eradication of endemic, parasitic and infectious diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, polio, major infectious diseases of childhood and river blindness, which have retarded the quality, and productivity of Africa's human resources.

100. Increase support to meeting basic needs and to greater protection and priority access for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. In particular, greater account shall be taken in matters regarding women's health and family planning. Support for the development of systems of social protection and security will be increased.

101. Continue to work towards:

a) greater access to safe water and sanitation;

b) the reduction of maternal mortality;

c) the reduction of the mortality rates of infants and children under the age of five years;

d) the reduction of the number of malnourished persons.

102. Promote formulation of national drug policies and strategies with a view to improve the access to and affordability of essential drugs.

103. Also co-operate in the provision of adequate financial and technical assistance to African countries geared towards the eradication of endemic diseases, such as malaria, tuberculosis, polio and river blindness.

104. Reiterate the devastating nature of the HIV/AIDS pandemic as a national emergency in many African countries.

105. Work together to focus national HIV/AIDS programmes on well known and effective strategies for reducing the spread of the disease. We call on African Governments, EU Partners and external agencies to work with UNAIDS Africa Partnership and civil society to mitigate the devastating impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

106. Recognise the growing burden of HIV on individuals and are committed to reducing the stigma of people with HIV, promoting local solutions such as home-based care, developing programmes to help AIDS orphans to become and remain valued productive members of society, improving health services, promoting and improving access to essential drugs.

107. Promote co-operation in research into new treatment regimes and their registration, as well as in the use of anti-retrovirals in the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS, as contained in the Dakar (1992) and Tunis (1994) Heads of State and Government Declarations on HIV/AIDS. We will support initiatives aimed at developing an appropriate HIV/AIDS vaccine.

108. Call on pharmaceutical companies, whether research-based or not, to do their utmost to make medicines, whether patented or not, available at affordable prices in particular to the poorest and for the most serious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS.

109. In this respect, call upon governments and other donors to make more resources available for assisting these countries in their fight against the pandemic.

The Environment

We agree to:

110. Strengthen our co-operation in the field of prevention of natural disasters and set up disaster prevention and preparedness mechanisms, including reduction and early warning systems, taking into account particularly the work accomplished on the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction. We also agree to strengthen our co-operation on humanitarian assistance, rehabilitation and reconstruction related to the consequences of such disasters.

111. Give priority to the implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.

112. Co-operate in environmental issues as a basis for ensuring sustainable development.

113. Promote responsible policies aimed at the preservation of African fishing resources.

114. Take account of the regional dimension in environmental issues on the African continent.

115. Ensure the prohibition of the export and transit of hazardous waste to Africa, as provided for in the relevant international conventions.

116. Support the efforts for the conservation, management and sustainable development of Africa's vast forests, through, inter alia, programs that are also beneficial to the communities concerned.

117. Commit to the conservation of Africa's rich heritage in biological diversity, which is a global asset, and promote its sustainable use for the benefit of the local people.

118. Support country-driven specific measures to strengthen the capacity to implement obligations resulting from all relevant international environmental Conventions. Specifically, We will continue to support the implementation of the commitments under the UN Framework Conventions on Desertification, Climate Change and Biodiversity. This includes the participation of African experts in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the strengthening of the national climate policy focal points and the development and implementation of the climate change-related policies and action plans, the start-up of Clean Development Mechanism projects under the Kyoto Protocol, the testing of pilot technologies in the field of new and renewable sources of energy and energy efficiency and the transfer of other climate change-related technology to the African countries.

Food Security

We agree to:

119. Co-operate in formulating and implementing food security policies including supporting food production, processing, storage, marketing and distribution, improving access to food as well as ensuring adequate nutritional quality. We also agree to co-operate in the establishment of early warning systems to monitor drought and crop production.

120. Support African networking with EU partners, in the areas of agricultural technology and know-how, extension services, and rural infrastructure.

121. Support investment in research in the areas of high-yield crops and durable preservation and storage and provide support for building national and regional capacity for multilateral trade negotiations, including food sanitation and other agricultural trade regulations.

Drug Abuse and Trafficking

We agree to:

122. Continue to work closely with African partners in combating vigorously drugs trafficking and money laundering, both on a multilateral and bilateral basis. We also agree to combat the demand and supply of illicit drugs, narcotics and psychotropic substances in conformity with the pertinent recommendations of the 20th UNGASS and aim at offering the populations lawful alternatives to the growth of illicit crops.

123. Strengthen our co-operation in developing strategies and capacity building measures to this effect.

124. Assist African countries and organisations in strengthening their capacities to control illicit drugs and trafficking and money laundering.

Cultural Issues

125. We pledge to accord importance to cultural cooperation between Africa and Europe as an integral aspect of development.

With regard to cultural goods stolen or exported illicitly, We have taken note of the concerns of African States and request senior officials of the bi-regional group to examine the legal and practical consequences of further action in this area and prepare a report for assessment at ministerial level in the framework of the follow-up mechanism, within reasonable time.


126. We agree that all the terms of reference concerning participation in the first Summit shall apply further on to all relevant mechanisms and with this understanding:

127. We agree to adopt the following mechanism to give impetus to and to monitor the implementation of the Plan of Action:

a) Summit of Heads of State and Government based on a principle of continuity

b) Meeting of Ministers (in between the Summits)

c) A bi-regional group at Senior Officials' level.

128. The bi-regional group at a Senior Officials' level will meet regularly, monitor and encourage the achievement of the priorities for action, from a political viewpoint, and with the objective of contributing, on the basis of existing mechanisms, towards global dialogue with a view to strengthening the strategic bi-regional partnership in its political, economic, social, environmental, educational, cultural, technical and scientific dimensions.

129. In addition, the priorities for action adopted by the Summit will be promoted through the current ministerial discussions between the European Union and the African countries in the framework of the relevant mechanisms of inter-regional cooperation.

130. The second Summit will take place in Europe, in 2003.

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