The European Business Council for Africa

ECDPM's weekly update on EU - Africa relations and international cooperation 

A rather sombre European Council on Sunday approved the UK Withdrawal Agreement in Brussels, which was fittingly covered by fog. The British Prime Minister now has two weeks to convince the Parliament back home that this is the best, if not the only possible, deal.

In the meantime, here in Brussels, the 27 member states are giving signs that they are keen to move on. What is sure is that they will have to pick up the pace of the negotiations on the next EU budget. Just as well, since we have been continuing our in-depth analysis of the proposal on the table. €  89.2 billion is the sum allocated to the new foreign policy and development instrument – the NDICI, for the acronym buffs. It’s early stages still, but we wanted to be the first to look at how this money could be spent – the programming, for the EU jargon buffs.

Some form of ‘programming’ is hopefully also going to take place in Poland from next week, when ministers, officials and a big chunk of the climate community will meet to discuss the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate. There seems to be a renewed sense of urgency and a need to show progress. But, as Mariella Di Ciommo and Sanne Thijssen write in their blogthe European Union should show its international partners how far it is willing to go to address climate change.

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The Week of 16 – 23 November 2018

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ECDPM's weekly update on EU - Africa relations and international cooperation 

On this side of the Mediterranean, all we are talking about is Brexit. What will Prime Minister Theresa May do? Is the UK parliament going to vote for her proposed withdrawal agreement? What do the remaining 27 EU member states think about it? Is there going to be a second referendum? Will the UK get out without a deal? You will have read about all this and the possible consequences of each of these scenarios. What you might not have read yet is, if we step back a little, what each of these possible outcomes means for the EU and the UK when it comes to aid, trade and the relationship with Africa. Look no further: Andrew Sherriff and Emmanuel De Groof wrote a seven-point piece on just that.

In the meanwhile, there was a very different atmosphere on the other side of the Mediterranean, where the leaders of the 55 African Union member states met to discuss how to reform the big African institution. At least the rhetoric was one of unity, decisiveness and optimism. We have collected for you the key information on the Summit in Addis Ababa.

To further contrast the moods in the two continents, the UN poverty envoy published a hard-hitting report on the impact of austerity in the UK, while this week Africa celebrates industrialisation week, focusing on how to convert high economic growth rates – an average of 5.5% annually versus a European average of 1.7% –  into more meaningful economic and social results through industrialisation.

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ECDPM's weekly update on EU - Africa relations and international cooperation 

In December 2010, Mohamed Bouazizi, a Tunisian street vendor, set himself on fire to protest against the regime of Ben Ali. His tragic gesture marks the beginning of what is known as the ‘Arab Spring’. Since then, we have witnessed major changes in the broader region, and we are constantly reminded of the fragile economic and political situation. But how has the situation really changed for citizens living in North African countries, eight years on? Our last Great Insights of the year, entirely devoted to North Africa, gives you a set of pictures and analyses with more granular detail than the sweeping headlines we have become used to reading. And to know what we have been doing on North Africa, do have a look at our updated dossier.

As you probably have noticed, we have spent a lot of energy analysing peacebuilding and the reasons why some European countries (and the European Union institutions) decide to support and invest in it – or not. We have published and presented a summary of all key findings and two of the four case studies – Sweden and Germany. The next two case studies will come out soon and, once available, they too will be added to a new tool we have developed to give you a complete overview, in an easy-to-navigate way, of all our work on the matter. We welcome your feedback.

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The Week of 9 – 16 November 2018

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The Weeks of 26 October – 9 November 2018

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ECDPM's weekly update on EU - Africa relations and international cooperation 

This week is Geneva Peace Week, which will bring together the relevant UN bodies, NGOs and leading academic and other experts involved in the peacebuilding business. There will be plenty of discussions on how best to find peaceful solutions to violent conflicts, building on recent lessons learnt. For the past 1.5 years, we have looked at the factors determining peacebuilding efforts by the EU and several European member states. Today, we are proud to launch our second case study, focusing on Sweden. Pauline Veron and Andrew Sherriff conclude that the country remains a peacebuilding champion, but that the rise of the right-wing populist party and the resurgence of Russia could threaten its work in the future. 

You might not know, but do now, that Côte d’Ivoire has become, almost overnight, the world’s largest producer of cashew nuts. We have a paper – in French – on the country’s positive example which underlines the importance of high-level political will and a participatory policy-making process for other governments seeking to achieve similar successes in the agricultural sector. 

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Analysis and News Worth Knowing on Africa from Monday to Friday. Provided by our Partner https://nurmara.com/

The site is updated weekdays at 10:00 am GMT. Depending on news flow stories are occasionally updated during the day. 

30. November 2018 - Will Africa ever stop dragging its feet on integration?

29. November 2018 - Africa’s oil producers really need to diversify

28. November 2018 - Africa does not have an East-West dilemma

27. November 2018 - Mobile money may have just reached a big milestone

26. November 2018 - South Sudan must put its oil to good use

23. November 2018 - There will be no “African Silicon Valley”

22. November 2018 - Tanzania is going off the rails

21. November 2018 - With any luck the cryptocurrency frenzy is over

20. November 2018 - Could Nigeria spend ninety billion dollars a year on infrastructure?

19. November 2018 - Chinese aid is growing up

16. November 2018 - The African Union is taking drastic steps to pay its bills

15. November 2018 - Who is going to pay for sustainable development?

14. November 2018 - Nigeria: Just too big to ignore?

13.November 2018 - Where there’s a will, there’s a way

12. November 2018 - Sudan gets a light at the end of the tunnel

09. November 2018 - Mobile money is going global before it goes pan-African

08. November 2018 - Why is nobody talking about ‘de-risking’ in Africa?

07. November 2018 - Madagascar’s election: Much hype but little substance

06. November 2018 - Air Tanzania: Another unsustainable vanity project?

05. November 2018 - Nigeria is in desperate need of change

02. November 2018 - Is the South – South dream over?

01.November 2018 - What does the World Bank know about doing business?

The Week of 19 – 26 October 2018

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ECDPM's weekly update on EU - Africa relations and international cooperation 

the EU says it is deeply committed to promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. To achieve this goal in the field of external relations, it has adopted a Gender Action Plan 2016-2020. Halfway through its mandate, the EU has looked at the results so far. And so did we. ECDPM’s Noemi Cascone and Anna Knoll have chosen the EU Trust Fund for Africa as a case study to analyse if and how gender is integrated into the workings of the trust fund. As often is the case, the conclusions are mixed.  

The team that has been working on the future of peacebuilding support will be in Washington, DC later this week to present their work at the Alliance for Peacebuilding Conference, the annual gathering of the peacebuilding community. 

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