Call for Proposals: Establishing an Africa-Europe Research Partnership

Deadline Date: May 23, 2024

Donor Name: Africa Europe Foundation

Grant Size: $100,000 to $500,000

The Africa-Europe Foundation is pleased to announce a Call for Proposals to establish a collaborative research partnership between African and European organisations with an overarching aim to build body of evidence and identify policy solutions that can strengthen Africa-Europe cooperation in few key thematic areas.

The Africa-Europe Foundation (AEF) is an independent, multi-stakeholder platform engaged in frank dialogue, policy advocacy and strategic analysis on promising topics for the Africa-Europe Partnership. 

This Call for Proposals is underpinned by the “State of Africa-Europe Report 2024”, produced by the Africa-Europe Foundation and providing a unique benchmarking exercise on the implementation of the Africa-Europe Partnership, including review of the existing policy/financial commitments of the political partnership between the African Union and the European Union.

This Call invites research organisations to deep dive into 3 priority chapters from the ‘State of Africa-Europe Report 2024’, specifically the chapters on:

  • Sustainable Finance;
  • Climate and Development;
  • Science, Education, and Culture.

The Call will serve to establish an “Africa-Europe Research Consortium”, consisting of research organisations from Africa and Europe, including think tanks, research institutes, universities as well as CSOs/NGOs and social enterprises with proven track record in research and policy.

The purpose is to implement the AEF research programme through a collaborative process that will generate the evidence needed to identify obstacles and opportunities that can strengthen Africa-Europe Partnership. This includes providing evidence that can help implement existing areas of AU-EU commitments and identifying strategic topics which offer the most promise today for win/win partnerships between Africa and Europe.


  • SO1: Fostering strategic vision and foresight: identifying and examining current trends and projecting future scenarios to help anticipate challenges and opportunities on the horizon looking beyond the current development strategies and frameworks (e.g. Agenda 2030), uncovering shared priorities and mutual opportunities that can serve as focal points for strategic alignment and cooperation between the two continents. 
  • SO2: Enhancing cross-continental insights: Examining global and regional challenges through a unique Africa-Europe lens, utilizing the expertise and insights of research organisations from both continents and, providing ‘hard facts’ in crucial areas relevant to the Africa-Europe Partnership that lead to tangible policy recommendations. 
  • SO3: Supporting the monitoring of the Africa-Europe Partnership and its policy/financial commitments: Contributing to the implementation of policy commitments made by the AU and the EU by gathering information on progress towards certain objectives and producing research results that can be used to inform the monitoring of the Partnership’s commitments.


  • The priorities of this Call for Proposals are:
    • Through a holistic exploration, to identify common challenges, shared priorities, and mutual opportunities within the Africa-Europe Partnership, focusing on key thematic areas below. (Applicants are encouraged to propose additional areas of potential contribution, which could offer further grounds for Africa Europe collaboration.)
    • Encourage transcontinental collaboration of all actors and knowledge sharing beyond conventional boundaries to promote deeper mutual understanding and cooperation between research organisations from both continents.
    • Emphasize cross-continental data collection, gather evidence, provide ‘hard facts’, and produce analysis to assess the implementation of Africa-Europe Partnership, including political/financial commitments between the AU and EU, thereby ensuring effective accountability and providing crucial insights to shape future policies.
    • Ensure that research and analytical activities actively contribute to advancing the Africa-Europe Foundation’s objectives in terms of policy advocacy and monitoring of the Africa-Europe Partnership.


  • The applicants are expected to specify in their application the themes they wish to engage on (allowing more than one) and are encouraged to include other topics and sub-themes that they may consider complementary
  • The three priority themes of this Call for Proposals correspond to central chapters of the ‘Stateof-Africa-Europe Report 2024’:
    • ‘Sustainable Finance’, covering issues including:
      • Combatting illicit financial flows,
      • Reform of the global financial architecture,
      • Innovative mechanisms for resource mobilisation (for example hybrid capital mechanism to leverage SDRs), global taxation (for example on shipping), and carbon markets
    • ‘Climate and Development’, including:
      • Nexus of climate and health
      • Agri-food system transformations,
      • Investment in energy and green transitions
      • Blue Economy and Ocean Governance
      • Nexus of climate, trade and development
    • ‘Education, Science and Culture’, covering issues such as:
      • Education and skills development,
      • Scientific and cultural cooperation.
      • Investment in youth voice, agency and leadership
      • Digital transformations and AI
      • Perceptions and Africa-Europe Narratives
  • For consideration the following sub-topics have been identified through the AEF multi stakeholder dialogue platforms:
    • Global Gateway and alignment with African strategies and plans
    • Public perception of political commitments and their delivery
    • Carbon markets and AI
    • Critical raw materials and Green Industrialization
    • CBAM Response Strategies
    • Africa-Europe Water Cooperation and Partnerships
    • The Future of Land use and Agri-Food in Africa and Europe

Funding Information

  • The overall indicative amount made available under this Call for Proposals is 300,000.00 Euros.
  • The contracting authority reserves the right not to award all available funds. Equally, this amount could be reviewed during the implementation phase should more funds become available.
  • AEF expects to award between 3 to 8 research projects that will implement the overall research programme.
  • Within the overall budget envelope, the AEF expects to award funding for selected research projects of between 20,000.00 Euros and 150,000.00 Euros.
  • Duration
    • The initial planned duration of a project may not be lower than 2 months nor exceed 15 months. 

Eligible Activities

  • AEF aims to leverage the Research Consortium to undertake:
    • Data gathering and compilation (primary and secondary sources);
    • Research and analysis (for evidence building and policy development);
    • Results assessment and evaluations (initiatives and projects implemented as part of the AU-EU commitment delivery);
    • Scientific publications and policy papers;
    • Dissemination and communication: contribution to publicising the results of the research carried out;
    • Knowledge and capacity sharing: sharing experiences, vision, and ideas with AEF and the Research Consortium partners.

Eligible Projects

  • Projects must consist of a set of innovative, autonomous, and coherent research and dissemination activities, with clearly defined objectives, target groups and tangible results, in line with the general objective and specific objectives and priorities.
  • Research projects must be innovative, have an impact, and build on work/body of evidence already available, if possible, with potential for transcontinental scaling. They must include measures to ensure policy application through tangible policy recommendations.
  • To increase impact and sustainability, all projects must include an element of capacity building and an of enabling environment for Research in the field of Africa-Europe cooperation.
  • Projects must be designed and prepared in consultation and close coordination with all partnership members to create synergies and strengthen common approaches.

Ineligible Projects

  • The following types of projects are ineligible:
    • Projects which discriminate against individuals or groups of people on grounds of their gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs or lack of them, or their ethnic origin;
    • Projects directly and financially supporting specific political parties/leaders;
    • Projects supporting proselytism, supporting violence;
    • Projects concerning procurement of equipment. 

Targeted Groups and Beneficiaries

  • The direct target groups of the programme are:
    • Policymakers, institutions, and other committed stakeholders in Africa and Europe who will benefit from the knowledge and recommendations generated by the programme.
    • Research institutions, NGOs, Civil Society actors that work in/for the field of a stronger and Africa and European cooperation based on shared values and common interests. 
  • The beneficiaries of the programme are:
    • African and European citizens, who could benefit from enhanced cooperation between the two continents through policies informed by research conducted under the programme.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Lead applicant: 
    • In order to be eligible for a grant, the lead applicant must:
      • Be a legal person; and
      • Be non-profitmaking; and
      • Be a non-governmental civil society organisation and more precisely research institution and/or Think Tank and/or an organisation qualified to undertake research in the Africa-Europe cooperation; and
      • Be directly responsible for the preparation and management of the project with the co-applicant, not acting as an intermediary; and
      • Have proven experience of having implemented at least 1 project with a budget equal to or higher than the value of the financial allocation awarded by this Call for Proposals or at least 4 projects with a budget of at least 50,000.00 Euros each; and
      • Have proven capacity, experience, and access to expertise to be able to address the priority themes of this Call for Proposals.
  • Co-applicant:
    • The co-applicant participates in designing and implementing the project, and the costs it incurs are eligible in the same way as those incurred by the lead applicant. 
    • The co-applicant must satisfy the eligibility criteria as applicable to the lead applicant itself. 

For more information, visit Africa Europe Foundation.

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