Tunisia has just hosted the Africa-EU Civil Society Forum, as part of a strategy both continents agreed on in 2007.
The aim is to boost cooperation in ways that bring citizens direct benefits. And civil society gets a say – that’s particularly true in Tunisia.
“We know Tunisian civil society played an important role in the democratic transition,” Iyad Dahmani, Tunisian Minister for relations with parliament, told Euronews.
“Today the government continues to work hard to support civil society. We believe that the choice Tunisia made reinforces the image of a young democracy that will surely serve as a bridge between Europe and Africa.”
The forum focused on five themes: conflict prevention and refugees; human development; a sustainable future for our planet; socio-economic development and democratic governance.
“This has been a very good exercise as to what role civil society can play in peace-building in both continents,” said Lulsegged Abebe, senior advisor to the African Union at the charity International Alert.
“Peace-building is not about military intervention; it should be an inclusive process, where all actors are involved in building peace in both continents.”
The forum was held in preparation for the fifth EU-Africa Summit that will take place in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on November 28-29.