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Political relations with Africa

Advancing our political objectives

The Africa Strategy (PDF, 3.4mb) has a strong focus on Ireland’s role in:

  • supporting the promotion of peace and security
  • conflict resolution and disarmament
  • strengthened democracy
  • respect for human rights and the rule of law.

All of these objectives are core priorities in Ireland’s foreign policy and are central to our relations with Africa. And while they are important in themselves, they also support the conditions needed to achieve sustainable economic and social development – the focus of Ireland’s aid programme.

We are working for progress in these areas bilaterally, in our relations with African partner countries, and at the multilateral level, through our participation in the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and our work with the European Union in Africa and the United Nations.

We are pursuing a range of strategies to further this goal of deeper political engagement with Africa by:

  • Organising more well-prepared and targeted visits to Africa by Irish Government Ministers and senior officials.
  • Having more regular political consultations with African partners.
  • Encouraging more inward visits from African governments and parliaments.
  • Seeking more frequent meetings and a strengthened dialogue between Irish and African representatives at international meetings.

Strengthening Ireland’s voice within the EU/UN and other regional bodies

We are working for increased engagement at UN level with African countries on issues such as climate change, human rights and hunger.

We are also strengthening our capacities to engage with EU institutions on African issues, including with the newly established European External Action Service (EEAS)

And we are supporting African regional integration as an engine of political stability and economic growth, and examining ways in which we can engage more effectively with the African Union and Africa’s Regional Economic Communities.

How we are implementing the strategy

A number of high-level visits to and from Africa have already taken place.  Recent examples include visits by the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade to Uganda, Kenya and Somalia, and visits by Minister of State Costello to the African Union Summit, Ethiopia, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Ghana, Nigeria  and South Africa.

Africa Strategy

Read the full Africa Strategy (PDF, 3.4mb) for more information.