African Union A Satellite Receiving Station is installed in the Botswana College of Agriculture (BCA) through the framework of African Monitoring of Environment for Sustainable Development (AMESD). The Satellite Receiving Station was officially launched by the Acting Principal of the BCA Read the rest of this entry »
While Africa and Europe both strongly advocate regional intengration and cooperation as a route towards sustainable development and poverty alleviation, a key challenge for the drafters of the joint EU-Africa strategy is to ensure that trade is not considered as an end in itself, but
as a means towards a wider development agenda.
Examples of key questions on this topic are the following. Help set the agenda for the public debate on this issue by sending us key points, initial views and comments. As the consultation goes along we will structure the various ideas and launch more detailed rounds of discussion in a few weeks on the basis of your suggestions:
- Regional integration has done a lot to promote growth and prosperity in Europe. How can the EU most effectively support regional integration in Africa?
- How can Africa ensure that gains from trade and regional integration are distributed in equitable manner and conducive to poverty alleviation?
This page gives information on the discussions on ‘Trade and regional integration’ in the first phase of the public consultation (February-May, 2007).
Basis for discussion
An issue paper drafted by the ECDPM and approved by the EU and the AU was presented on the website and participants were encouraged to respond to questions raised in it. After some time another discussion paper was drafted, based on issues raised in the consultation as well as in the official negotiations. The consultation also made space for participants to raise other questions, priorities, or challenges that they would like to put on the agenda.
The main messages
The main messages from the actors participating in the first phase of the consultation were the following:
- Very strong recommendations on EPAs, with a reference to the on-going campaigns such as the ‘Stop EPA’ campaign, have been voiced: to integrate safeguard mechanisms into the EPAs and other trade agreements , to grant the developing countries preferential treatment, to omit Singapore issues, to extend the timeframe for the EPA negotiations, to respond positively to the requests of ACP countries
- The increased competitiveness and productivity of African agriculture needs to be supported and the EU should modify its agricultural policy in a more development oriented manner.
- Supply side constraints should be further addressed, notably regarding infrastructure, and public-private partnerships enhanced
- Private sector could be more structurally associate to policy formulation and implementation
- Africa’s own integration process, i.e. the Abuja Treaty (AEC), should be supported.
See the report of the internet consultation for more information on the issues raised.
The contributions made
Comments could be made directly on the websites and contributions could also be sent in the form of position papers.
Position papers received focusing on Trade and regional integration can be viewed here.
1. Africa in a Broader Context
The last AU-China Summit and more generally the strengthening of the relations between Africa and other countries of the developing world embody the increasing attention directed by other Southern partners towards Africa and the growing credibility of the AU on the international stage. This could allow Africa to have increased political room for manoeuvre and to become more integrated into the global economy. Looking at the EU-Africa privileged relationship, the increased interest of Southern partners towards Africa could seriously threaten the EU’s position as Africa ’s primary partner and the EU could become one of Africa ’s main development and trade partners only.
Rising AU-China Relations
China to double aid to Africa
A summit was held in Beijing on China-Africa cooperation on the 4-5 of November, attended by 48 African leaders. The summit concluded by adopting a new strategic partnership between the two regions, and of China promising to double its aid as well as trade with African countries. China also proposed a raft of new loans, development projects in health and agriculture, and debt cancellations. China caused international reactions by welcoming both Zimbabwe’s and Sudan’s presidents among the 48 African leaders. Trade deals for an amount of $2bn were signed during the summit. Click here to read more.
“Problems of Africa-China Co-Operation”
This article gives background information on China-Africa relations. It describes how mutual understanding has developed, but warns against the risks of it developing to an unequal relationship where China will reap the benefits.
South Korea promised to triple its aid to Africa at Korea-Africa Forum
South Korea promised to triple its aid to Africa before 2008, which would amount to about 100 millions of dollars. This decision was taken at the occasion of the first Korea-African Summit that brought together 25 representatives of African States. It follows the historical summit that took place in China from the third to the fifth of November 2006. To read more, please click here
2. Upcoming events
Extra-ordinary AU Council of Ministers on 17-18 November 2006
An Extra-ordinary AU Council of Ministers will take place in Addis Ababa on 17 and 18 November 2006 to prepare the January 2007 forthcoming AU Summit and in particular to discuss the institutional future of the African Union, including the future role of the African Union Commission.
African Union Private Sector Forum to be held on the 28-30 November
The key objective of the forum is to elaborate a development strategy and action plan to empower and promote an African private sector that can play a significant role in the African economies to achieve, among others, poverty reduction and other Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
For a complete list of events regarding AU institutions, see:
3. Further reading:
UNCTAD: “Doubling Aid: Making the ‘Big Push’ work”
This report examines how a doubling of the aid to Africa might lead to sustainable development and calls for changes in the current development practice.
World Bank: Fewer conflicts and increased economic growth has made 2005 a turning point for the continent”
The World Bank’s report ‘Africa Development Indicators 2006’found that 16 African states had managed to maintain annual economic growth of more than 4.5% since the 1990s. Meanwhile, the number of African conflicts had fallen from a peak of 16 in 2002 to five in 2005. On a more negative note, the bank said foreign investment in the continent was just $10.1bn in 2004, only 1.6% of global foreign investment and that more than 50% of the funds were spent in Nigeria and Sudan. In more positive vein, the bank’s report said that countries including Senegal, Mozambique, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Uganda and Ghana were on course to meet the target of halving poverty by 2010 – five years ahead of schedule.
Afrique Union, a new monthly journal on the African Union
A new monthly journal entitled « Afrique Union » providing general information on the African Union has been launched this week in several West Africa capitals. Only available in French.
3. African Regional Economic Communities
Southern African Development Community – SADC
Summit on regional integration
An extraordinary Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit was held in Midrand, South Africa , on October 23, 2006. The purpose was to consider regional, economic and political integration, and covered the launching of the Free Trade Area (FTA) by 2008, the preparations for the Customs Union by 2010 and SADC’s position on the African Union Government.
Trudi Hartzenberg, Tralac’s Executive Director and Prof Gerhard Erasmus, a Tralac associate, comment on what can be expected from the Extraordinary SADC Summit on Regional Integration. The article also mentions implications that the EPA negotiations may have for the regional integration.
East African Community – EAC
Rwanda and Burundi will join East Africa in November
The two countries have signed agreements accepting all conditions, including joining the two-year-old EA Customs Union. According to the article the official pronouncement will be made in Arusha mid November.
Economic Community of West African States – ECOWAS
10th ECOWAS-EU Ministerial Troika Meeting. 27 October 2006. Final Communique
Issues that were addressed include: the peace and security and post-conflict issues in Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Liberia and Sierra Leone; consultations under Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement between the EU, Togo and the Republic of Guinea; elections in DRC; EPAs, Human rights and good governance; migration; institutional matters.
Source: EU-Africa e-alert – No. 3 / November 2006