The following list covers external partnerships where there are formal agreements between the AU and a partner organisation, region or country.
Formal relations between Africa and the Arab World were launched at a summit in Cairo, Egypt, in 1977 and revitalised at a summit in Sirte, Libya, in 2010. The Libya Summit adopted the Africa–Arab Partnership Strategy and the Joint Africa–Arab Action Plan 2011–16 as well as issuing a declaration summarising common positions on major regional and international issues. The Partnership’s focal areas are: trade; mining and industry; agriculture; energy and water resources; transport and communication; financial cooperation; and educational, scientific and technical cooperation. The Partnership’s core structures as set out in the Strategy are a standing commission, working groups and specialised panels, coordinating committee, ad hoc court and Commission of Conciliation and Arbitration.
The Joint Africa–Arab Heads of State and Government Summit is held every three years with ministerial-level meetings every 18 months. As of September 2014, three Africa–Arab joint summits have been held, most recently on 19 and 20 November 2013 in Kuwait.
Africa–European Union (EU) Partnership
The Africa–EU Partnership began with the first Africa–EU Summit, which was held in 2000 in Cairo, Egypt. As of September 2014, four summits have been held, most recently on
2 and 3 April 2014 in Brussels, Belgium. The Partnership’s stated vision is to: reinforce political relations; strengthen and promote issues of common concern; promote effective multilateralism; and promote people-centred partnerships. Activities are based on the Joint Africa–Europe Strategy, which was adopted by Heads of State and Government at the 2007
Summit, and the Joint Road Map 2014–17, which was adopted at the April 2014 Summit. Partnership mechanisms operate at a range of levels from Heads of State summits to civil society networks.
Africa–South America (ASA) Summit
The first ASA Summit was held in November 2006 in Abuja, Nigeria. As of September 2014, three summits have been held, most recently in February 2013 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. The Summit's mandate is to facilitate the development of trade and industry for both regions, including through sharing best practices in priority thematic areas. The Summit is
also a forum for dialogue on peace and security, democracy, governance and social justice. The ASA Summit's core structures under development include a strategic presidential committee, permanent secretariat and executive secretary. A financing mechanism for partnership programmes is also under development.
The Africa–India Cooperation Agreement was launched by a leaders’ summit in April 2008 in New Delhi, India. The Summit adopted two documents: the Delhi Declaration and an Africa– India Framework for Cooperation. A second summit was held on 25 May 2011 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and a third was scheduled to be held in December 2014. The first four-year Africa– India Plan of Action (2010–13) was launched in New Delhi in March 2010 and a second was adopted in Addis Ababa in September 2013 for 2014–18. The Plan includes cooperation in
the economic, political, science and technology, social development and capacity building, tourism, energy, infrastructure and media fields.
The Africa–Turkey Partnership was formalised in April 2008 at the Istanbul Summit. The 2008 Summit adopted two outcome documents, the Istanbul Declaration and the Framework for Cooperation, which set out the areas of cooperation between the two parties. The Framework’s focal areas are: inter-governmental cooperation; trade and investment; agriculture, agribusiness, rural development, water resources management and small- and medium-scale enterprises; health; peace and security; infrastructure, energy and transport; culture, tourism and education; media, information and communication technology; and environment. An implementation plan for 2010–14 was adopted in 2010. The second Africa– Turkey Summit was scheduled to take place in November 2014.
China–Africa Cooperation Forum (FOCAC)
The China–Africa Cooperation Forum is a ministerial-level platform for consultation and dialogue between China and African states. It was inaugurated in October 2000 in Beijing, China. In addition to the Member States, the AU Commission is a full member. The Forum is mandated to strengthen consultation, expand cooperation and promote political dialogue and economic cooperation between China and African states. FOCAC conferences are held every three years, alternating between China and an African country. FOCAC has held five sessions since the inaugural meeting in Beijing, most recently on 19 and 20 July 2012 in Beijing. The next FOCAC meeting is scheduled for 2015.
The African Union and United States of America (USA) signed an assistance agreement in August 2010. The Agreement formalised cooperation on issues including peace and security, democracy and governance, agriculture, health, trade and general capacity building. The USA and AU held an inaugural high-level meeting in 2010 as a platform to bring together cabinet- level officials. An Africa–USA Summit was held in August 2014 in Washington, DC, under the theme “Invest in the future”.
Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD)
Africa–Japan cooperation was formalised in 1993 by the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), which established a consultative forum for development assistance to Africa. TICAD meets at Heads of State and Government level every five years, most recently in June 2013 in Yokohama, Japan. The most recent ministerial meeting took place in May 2014, in Yaoundé, Cameroon. The AU Commission became a full partner of the TICAD process at the TICAD IV forum in 2008 and a forum co-organiser from 2012. TICAD is overseen by a follow-up mechanism, which comprises a three-tier structure of secretariat, joint monitoring committee and follow-up meeting. Each TICAD meeting approves an action plan with specific actions to be undertaken within a five-year period.
The Korea–Africa Forum was established at the first ministerial-level Korea–Africa Forum, which was held in November 2006 in Seoul, Republic of Korea. Since then, the Forum has been held every three years, most recently in October 2012 in Seoul. The Ministerial Forum meets to discuss major economic development issues. Meetings include academics and the business sector from both sides of the partnership. A consultative group manages the
partnership. It is composed of African Development Bank executive directors, senior African and Republic of Korea Government officials and the Export-Import Bank of Korea. A secretariat is drawn from the same bodies.
The Africa–Australia partnership was formalised by a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in September 2010. The MoU establishes a framework for cooperation between Australia and the AU Commission. It prioritises cooperation in relation to: trade and investment; peace and security; achievement of the Millennium Development Goals; agriculture and food security; democracy, governance and human rights; and climate change.