African perspectives on Africa-Europe relations

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African perspectives on Africa-Europe relations
Geneva Centre for Security Policy, European Training Course in Security Policy
Dr. Damien Helly
Policy Officer, ECDPM
19 March 2014

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African perspectives on Africa-Europe relations

  1. 1. Dr. Damien Helly 19 March 2014 African perspectives on Africa-Europe relations
  2. 2. Page 2 Structure of the presentation • Background and African perspective(s) • Africa as one: the roots and history of several visions • African diversity and its implications for relations with Europe • African continental integration and relations with Europe • African subregional organisations and relations with Europe • African common views on Africa-EU relations • Contentious issues in relations with Europe • Prospects for Africa-Europe relations
  3. 3. 1. How can I speak of the African perspective(s)? Page 3 • ECDPM is broker in the relations between Africa and Europe • What follows was prepared together with our African Changing Dynamics Programme • It comes from statements made at our various events by African speakers and stakheholders .
  4. 4. 1. Background and African perspective(s) Page 4 • Africa’s relationship with Europe deeply rooted in colonial history – postcolony (Achille Mbembe) – ties still very strong but very diverse (Commonwealth, Franc CFA+military cooperation, CPLP) • With African nations independence in 1960s – hope for an equal partnership but instead “neo-colonial donor-recipient relationship” • First Africa-EU Summit in Cairo promised genuine partnership • Today both sides have not completely escaped the difficulties of history  The 4th Africa-EU Summit demands mutually beneficial engagement beyond rhetoric .
  5. 5. 1. History and background Page 5 1. Africa is pushing relationship to “move beyond aid” to achieve prosperity based on inclusive growth and sustainable development and address issues and challenges of mutual interest 2. Africa is aware of Europe’s declining position as its exclusive (trade) partner with new global players attracted by Africa’s economic growth and the continent’s offers 3. Africa is taking ownership of own development and policy frameworks and becoming more assertive on global scene
  6. 6. 2. Africa as one: the roots and history of several visions Page 6 1. Pan-Africanism and its diversity 2. The African Union (2002): stronger, more people- centered & more effective successor to the OAU for African Renaissance with a wider mandate (political & socio-economic integration) 3. As a response to Africa’s economic marginalization and need for national strategic development, NEPAD was founded in 2001 4. NEPAD has since then matured into the development program of the African Union. In 2010, fully integrated into structures and processes of AU
  7. 7. 2. Africa as one: the roots and history of several visions Page 7
  8. 8. 2. Africa as one: the roots and history of several visions - NEPAD Page 8 1. NEPAD formulated a number of continental policy frameworks that are implemented at national and regional levels: • Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Plan (CAADP) • Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) • Consolidated Plan of Action in Science and Technology, the Environment Action Plan (EAP) • Capacity Development Strategic Framework (CDSF) • African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM)
  9. 9. 2. Africa as one: the roots and history of several visions Page 9 Agenda 2063 Vision and Priorities - Towards a paradigm shift Vision: ”An Integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena” Priorities: Concert political determination and solidarity; finance Africa’s development and take charge of own resources  To take advantage of the current momentum towards 2063 Africa wants to do things differently – mood of confidence in the future of the continent
  10. 10. • African countries have various expectations, needs and demands • Inconsistencies in treating different African countries by Europe and Member States depending on their interests • JAES perceived to have created a fragmented approach and added to fragmented relationship (Cotonou Partnership Agreement, European Neighbourhood Policy, Trade and Development Cooperation Agreement with South Africa etc.) 3. African diversity and its implications for relations with Europe Page 10
  11. 11. • Africa’s commitment to continental integration has been promoted since the inception of the OAU in 1963 • The ideology of regional and economic integration has been embraced since the 1960s • 1991 Abuja Treaty formally created RECs  These aspirations for continental and regional integration and cooperation have been welcomed by the EU and increased Africa-Europe engagement and cooperation  4. African continental integration and relations with Europe Page 11
  12. 12. • Africa's continental integration has strengthened efficient collaboration between the two Unions and is of mutual interest • African integration requires effective ownership but lessons can be learned from Europe (transform economic growth into well-being, address regional imbalances through specific regional policies) • The development of Pan African institutions is indispensable and Europe has experiences to share 4. African continental integration and relations with Europe Page 12
  13. 13. 5. African subregional organisations Page 13
  14. 14. • Complexity and disparity of Africa-Europe and African-RECs-Europe relations – RECs involvement in the JAES • Gaps between AU and RECs (don’t always speak with one voice) • EU-Africa partnership not in all areas able to deliver all-inclusive strategy involving all the RECs (P&S) • Competition between the AU and RECs to attract resources from donors (challenge: absorption capacity – cumbersome funding instruments) 5. African subregional organisations and relations with Europe Page 14
  15. 15. • Europe should take into account and respect African efforts and strategies (APRM, AGA, Agenda 2063…) • Europe should acknowledge and treat Africa as a global actor – new dynamics in Africa have to be addressed (assertiveness, ownership, DRM…) • Europe should admit interests in Africa (economic, political, security…) • Europe should be more coherent when it comes to different African countries (conditionalities, contentious issues…) 6. African common views on Africa-EU relations Page 15
  16. 16. • Inertia is the term associated with partnership • Frustration with JAES (Joint declarations ahead of the Summit focus on different issues) • Europe as a whole still seen as former “colonial power” but view changing • If Europe wants to be a partner it should support African request for the reform of the UN Security Council • Higher expectations on Business side event than on Summit 6. African common views on Africa-EU relations Page 16
  17. 17. AFRICAN COMMON POSITION ON THE FUTURE OF THE PARTNERSHIP 6. African common views on Africa-EU relations Page 17
  18. 18. 7. Contentious issues in relations with Europe Page 18 • EPAs ( ECOWAS-EU EPA in January 2014) • ICC • Migration • Post 2015 • Security issues
  19. 19. 8. Prospects for Africa-Europe relations Page 19 Relations with Europe still matter to Africa but: • More political traction needed - European actors have to learn from previous experiences in order to make a difference in key areas • Inconsistencies and contentious issues have to be addressed coherently • Adapt to the paradigm shift since creation of the JAES – focus, prioritize, respect • A partnership of equals needs acknowledgement that both sides benefit from Africa-EU relations and have a say in issues of common interest and joint agendas (PAP)
  20. 20. Thank you! www.ecdpm.org www.slideshare.net/ecdpm Page 20 Questions to: Dr. Damien Helly, Policy Officer, ECDPM dhe@ecdpm.org

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