The EU-Africa workshop was the first event held under the auspices of the new European Studies Association of Sub-Saharan Africa (ESA-SSA). It took place in front of a standing room only audience on June 5, 2015 at the University of Pretoria during Governance Innovation Week. A diverse range of African, European and North American scholars and practitioners assembled for an exchange of views about the evolving relationship between Africa and the European Union. The overall theme was about innovation, with particular focus was on updating the debate, challenging some of the old donor and client characterisations, and better reflecting the changing conditions in Africa and Europe. Honorary Director at the European Commission, Philippe Darmuzey, kicked off the discussions with an opening speech on new directions in EU-Africa security and development cooperation. Panels followed with focus on innovation, trade and resources, and South Africa’s place in EU-Africa relations. Renown scholars such as Gilbert Khadiagala (Witswatersrand) explored the African Union’s approach to multilateral relations with the EU, while Daniel Bach (Bordeaux) examined innovative policies in emerging economies. Practitioners such as EU Ambassador Roeland Van De Geer touched on the EU-South Africa relationship while Andrew Sherriff (ECDPM) explored the EU’s changing institutions and their consequences for relations with Africa. The workshop was universally deemed a success and a strong beginning for new collaboration and research in EU-Africa relations.