The European Business Council for Africa

Trade is in trouble. Since the crisis, trade growth has slowed while public scepticism about trade in some countries has grown. Read Making Trade Work for All to learn more about what can be done to ensure trade works for more people.

This new OECD paper makes a renewed case for trade but argues that we need to start by acknowledging there are some good reasons for some people to be angry. But trade is not the root cause of the problems and nor can we look to trade to solve them on its own. The paper argues that action needs to be taken on three fronts:

1. Creating domestic environments were trade benefits can materialise
2. Doing more to bring everyone along, particularly in regions facing trade shocks
3. Making the international system work better

» Read the full report
» Read a one page overview of the report

» Access the OECD's trade research

The Trade and Development Report (TDR) 2016: Structural transformation for inclusive and sustained growth reviews recent trends in the global economy and focuses on the policies needed to foster structural transformation. 

It observes that global economic growth remains weak, growing at a rate below 2.5 per cent, and global trade slowed down dramatically to around 1.5 per cent in 2015 and 2016, compared to 7 per cent before the crisis.

The loss of dynamism in the advanced economies, combined with low commodity prices and global financial instability, is having knock-on effects on most developing countries. Developing economies will grow on average less than 4 percent this year, but with considerable variation across countries and regions: while Latin America is in recession and growth in Africa and West Asia is slowing down to around 2 per cent, East, South-East and South Asia is still growing at a rate close to 5 per cent.

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development


Rethinking the ACP-EU partnership and going beyond ‘business as usual’.

The Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA) links the EU to 79 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) and mobilises a large development budget of 30,5 billion euros for the period 2014-2020. It expires in 2020 and all parties are preparing their future positions.

The discussion on the future of ACP-EU cooperation picked up pace in 2015, with both the EU and the ACP engaging in a soul-searching exercise and preparing their future positions.

ECDPM initiated this study to promote an open and well-informed discussion on this important partnership. A political economy analysis can help to address this gap, as it does not look at what is desirable, but on understanding how things work out in practice and why.

In the review process the parties to the Cotonou Partnership Agreement – led by governments but including parliamentarians, civil society, private sector operators and local authorities – will need to address existential questions that have arisen from the past fifteen years of CPA implementation and from important changes in the international context.

16 January 2017

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New Instruments for New External Economic Settings?

Africa ranks high on Europe’s – and especially Germany’s – political agenda for 2017. The broader framework of relations is in flux, with the United States’ economic policies turning inward, China’s economic growth tailing off, and a number of economic part¬nership agreements between the EU and African regions coming into force. Africa is a priority of the German G20 Presidency, but there are also discussions about ideas for a Marshall Plan proposed by the German Minister for Economic Cooperation and the President of the European Parliament respectively. These initiatives open up opportunities for Germany and Europe to evolve the foundations of cooperation with Africa.

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The UN High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda adopted its long awaited report “A New Global Partnership. Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies through Sustainable Development.It sets out a universal agenda to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030 and deliver on the promise of sustainable development. The Panel also calls for the new post-2015 goals to transform economies for jobs and inclusive growth, to build peace and effective, open and accountable institutions for all, and to forge a new global partnership.