The African continent is undergoing profound transformations. It is affected in particular, by traditional and hybrid threats, growing violent extremism, structural and climate-related vulnerabilities, and migratory pressures.
At the same time, the continent is also witnessing fast-paced political, economic, and technological progress. This is profoundly changing its societies and institutions, and triggering a new prominence of African countries in a multipolar world.
Recent shocks, such as the Covid-19 pandemic and the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, have accelerated those pre-existing trends.
The relationship between the European Union and African countries and institutions is also evolving, reflecting the new and more competitive geopolitical realities.
The Joint Communication “Towards a comprehensive Strategy with Africa” calls for a strengthened EU’s strategic alliance with Africa. It shall enhance cooperation on global and multilateral affairs based on a clear understanding of respective and mutual interests and responsibilities. The Strategy also highlights shared commitments, such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063
EUISS research on Africa
The EUISS provides innovative research, analysis and advice to support EU and Member States’ strategies and policies towards Africa. Our objective is contributing to forge a stronger partnership between the two continents.
The EUISS uses its convening power to facilitate knowledge sharing, brainstorming, consensus building and dialogues with stakeholders and local partners, to break new ground on matters affecting Africa-EU relations. The Institute looks at evolving conflict dynamics across the continent, formulating recommendations on how to strengthen the implementation of the EU’s integrated approach.
The EUISS also monitors political, economic and security trends in countries at risk of falling or relapsing into conflict, to make the case for prevention when EU action can be impactful, using strategic foresight methodologies.
Finally, the EUISS studies the African geopolitical landscape and the role of new geopolitical actors projecting their influence in the continent, as well as related emerging challenges, such as cyber risks and hybrid threats.
African Trilogy – Chaillot Papers
Three flagship publications exploring the new geo-strategic landscape in Africa:
- African Strategies analyses the evolution of European and global actors’ strategies towards the continent, as a result of the “new scramble for Africa”.
- African Futures 2030 uses foresight scenarios to explore the implications of the African Continental Free Trade Area for peace and prosperity.
- African Spaces accounts for physical and non-physical spaces where geopolitical competition takes place in the continent.
Since January 2019, the EUISS organises regular meetings with the European Council’s Working Party on Africa (COAFR). Sessions are designed to provide delegates of EU Member States with innovative approaches and facilitate knowledge-sharing on selected regions, countries, or topics, contributing to Africa-related policy planning and joint analysis.
Conflict Series – Policy Briefs
The Conflict Series examines contemporary conflict situations and conflict-related thematic issues with the aim of contributing to enhanced conflict analysis that serves policy planning and policymaking. Several analyses of African conflict situations have been published under the series.
African Cities Working Group
In May 2022, the EUISS has launched an African Cities Working Group, in cooperation with the African Centre for Economic Transformation, the OECD, the European Commission, the European External Action Service, and the International Growth Centre. The initiative brings together key stakeholders, working towards concrete proposals to address structural challenges connected with urbanisation, in three areas: environment; economic resilience; and fragility, conflict and violence.
Imagine Africa Series – Policy Briefs
The Imagine Africa Series provided a platform for African experts to discuss potential futures for Africa using strategic foresight scenarios on selected priority areas for Africa-Europe cooperation. Five policy briefs were published under the series and dedicated to the broad theme of “people-centred development”. The full list is available here.
African Futures Task Force
From November 2019 to December 2020, the EUISS ran an African Futures Task Force. Its main objective was to explore trends affecting the future of Africa in the next ten years, emphasising challenges and opportunities for policymaking. The task force resulted in the publication of the Chaillot Paper "African Futures 2030: free trade, peace and prosperity" on 9 March 2021.