President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo arrived in the Austrian capital, Vienna, on Monday to take part in the High Level Africa-Europe Forum 2018, under the theme: “Taking Cooperation to the Digital Age”.
The Forum which opens today Tuesday, December 18, 2018, brings together European and African leaders, together with chief executive officers of major global companies, innovation champions, start-ups and other stakeholders.
They will leverage on the Forum to reflect and act to secure prosperity and competitiveness on both continents, and deepen the relationship in all its aspects with a specific focus on taking cooperation to the digital age.
Austria currently holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2018.
Austria wants to give rise to the conclusions of the European Council of June 28, 2018, where Europe seeks to enhance the quality of its cooperation with Africa, moving beyond focusing on migration as a common challenge.
The Forum was called by both President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, who is also the Chairman of the African Union, and advocate of an African single digital market, and Austrian Chancellor Sebestian Kurz.
The High-Level Forum is expected to promote innovation and digitalization as important enablers of future development.
It will aim at assessing how current partnerships between Africa and Europe contribute to this goal, complementing the ongoing implementation of the joint declaration of the 2017 Abidjan Summit between the African Union and the European Union, which among other things, highlighted the importance of unlocking the potential of the digital economy for Africa and Europe.
The Forum is expected to contribute to the Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs announced by the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in his recent State of the Union speech.
Additionally, it will also highlight the untapped potential for deepening the partnership in technology exchange and trade as well as their importance for economic growth, creating employment opportunities, building resilient societies and fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals.
President Kagame and Chancellor Kurz would open the Forum at the Austria Center, Vienna.
President Akufo-Addo was accompanied by officials of government, Presidency and Foreign Affairs Ministry.
He is expected back in Ghana on Tuesday, December 18, 2018.