Leaders of some 70 nations in Africa and Europe are seeking to improve political and economic cooperation between the two continents at a two-day summit.

The meeting in Brussels beginning Wednesday will also center on development aid, climate change and migration.

The European Union says leaders attending will include: U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; French President Francois Hollande; German Chancellor Angela Merkel; Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan and Kenyan leader Uhuru Kenyatta.

Notable absentees are Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, who reportedly skipped the summit because the EU refused to grant his wife a visa, and South African President Jacob Zuma, who accused Brussels of cherry-picking which African leaders would attend.

The 28 EU nations granted Africa 141 billion euros in assistance from 2007 to 2013.