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Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa is a macro-region in transformation. It is affected by traditional and emerging threats, growing violent extremism and radicalisation, new forms of intra-state violence, structural and climate-related vulnerabilities, social grievances, and migratory pressures. At the same time, the continent is also witnessing fast-paced political, economic, and technological progress, which is profoundly changing its societies and institutions, and triggering a new prominence of African countries in the global arena. 

The relationship between the European Union and Africa is evolving accordingly, going beyond development, humanitarian and security concerns, to include a broader and diversified engagement on migration and mobility, education and skills development, strengthened resilience and governance, inclusive growth and job creation. The EU Global Strategy calls for a change in mindset and a change in policy, seeing Africa and the EU as privileged and equal partners to shape a fairer, multilateral global order. This new approach will also shape the post-Cotonou agenda after 2020.

The EUISS provides innovative research, analysis and advice to support Africa-related policy planning and implementation. The EUISS uses its convening power to facilitate knowledge sharing, brainstorming, consensus building, dialogues with stakeholders and local partners, to break new ground on matters affecting Africa-EU relations. The Institute looks at instability hotspots, such as the Sahel, the Lake Chad Basin and the Horn of Africa, assessing interventions and formulating recommendations on how to strengthen the implementation of the EU’s integrated approach. The EUISS also monitors political, economic, security trends in countries at risk of falling or relapsing into conflict, to make the case for prevention when EU action can be impactful. Finally, the EUISS studies the role of new geopolitical actors expanding their influence in Africa, and emerging threats, such as cyber risks triggered by the digital revolution.

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    19 April 2017

    What generalisations can be made about African growth episodes between 1950 and today? This Brief seeks to dispel some of the negative narratives about Africa’s economic record, as well as discern factors which could lead to future growth on the continent.

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    19 April 2017

    What impact have migration routes out of and within Africa had on EU migration policy? This Brief examines some of the Union’s efforts (and challenges) regarding the continent.

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    19 April 2017

    After tensions between the government and citizens reached a boiling point in November 2015, a vicious cycle of protests and repression subsequently took hold for over a year. What, if anything, has the ruling party learned?

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    22 March 2017

    Little effort has been made so far to acquire a comprehensive understanding of transnational organised crime, its political economy and its ambivalent, non-linear relationship with political violence and system stability. This Brief takes a theoretical approach to explain the phenomenon in Africa.

  • 01 March 2017

    The first expert workshop of the African Futures project was organised in cooperation with the Egmont Institute on 1 March 2017 in Brussels. The workshop discussed Africa’s international relations: Africa’s evolving relations with external partners and the nature of Africa's influence in the world.

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    02 December 2016

    The recent decisions by Burundi, the Gambia and South Africa to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) have prompted worries that more countries may leave the Hague-based tribunal which investigates war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. But while it is clear that the ICC is facing important challenges to its credibility and legitimacy, the recent exits might not trigger a domino effect.

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    02 December 2016

    The number of popular protests in Africa has increased significantly since the mid-2000s, reaching its peak in recent years. To what extent can this surge challenge sitting governments or even be the harbinger of broader social and political change on the continent?

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    24 November 2016

    The EU and China have long sought to cooperate in and with Africa. Illegal migration to Europe, China’s growing commercial investments and terrorists looking for safe haven in Africa bind European, Chinese and African interests. The proliferation of these challenges beyond African borders is now driving the three parties closer together.

  • 21 November 2016

    On 21 November, the EUISS held the first meeting of the ‘African Futures’ project at its Liaison Office in Brussels.

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    29 July 2016

    This Brief seeks to explain why (and when) coups happen. What conditions are needed to persuade the military to attempt to topple a government? And what elements increase the likelihood of success or failure?

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  • Download document
    19 April 2017

    After tensions between the government and citizens reached a boiling point in November 2015, a vicious cycle of protests and repression subsequently took hold for over a year. What, if anything, has the ruling party learned?

  • Download document
    22 March 2017

    Little effort has been made so far to acquire a comprehensive understanding of transnational organised crime, its political economy and its ambivalent, non-linear relationship with political violence and system stability. This Brief takes a theoretical approach to explain the phenomenon in Africa.

  • Download document
    02 December 2016

    The recent decisions by Burundi, the Gambia and South Africa to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) have prompted worries that more countries may leave the Hague-based tribunal which investigates war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. But while it is clear that the ICC is facing important challenges to its credibility and legitimacy, the recent exits might not trigger a domino effect.

  • Download document
    02 December 2016

    The number of popular protests in Africa has increased significantly since the mid-2000s, reaching its peak in recent years. To what extent can this surge challenge sitting governments or even be the harbinger of broader social and political change on the continent?

  • Download document
    24 November 2016

    The EU and China have long sought to cooperate in and with Africa. Illegal migration to Europe, China’s growing commercial investments and terrorists looking for safe haven in Africa bind European, Chinese and African interests. The proliferation of these challenges beyond African borders is now driving the three parties closer together.

  • Download document
    29 July 2016

    This Brief seeks to explain why (and when) coups happen. What conditions are needed to persuade the military to attempt to topple a government? And what elements increase the likelihood of success or failure?

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    16 June 2016

    Presidential attempts to extend term limits in the Great Lakes region have resuscitated a debate over their impact on security. But beyond these presidential predicaments, questions have been raised over the erosion of democratic accountability across the region.

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    16 June 2016

    The restoration of a democratically-elected political authority in the Central African Republic (CAR) three years after the outbreak of its latest conflict episode is a positive breakthrough, but no panacea. Unable to shoulder the burden of conflict on its own, it will require sustained international support for years to come.

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    16 June 2016

    Although the comprehensiveness of the EU’s approach to addressing the South Sudanese crisis has set a positive precedent, the costly disbursement of over €414m in crisis-response financing is a stark reminder of the need to re-invest in peace.

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    16 June 2016

    A little after the anniversary of President Buhari coming power, this Alert looks at the security situation in Nigeria. Although jihadist group Boko Haram is reeling from a series of setbacks, what other problems are facing Africa’s most populous country?

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  • 28 January 2014

    On 28 January 2014, the EUISS organised and hosted the Strategy Meeting of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) as part of its overall support to the EU Chairmanship of the CGPCS in 2014.

  • 23 April 2013

    This workshop organised jointly by the EU Institute for Security Studies and the European External Action Service examined the challenges of piracy and crime at sea as well as the broader challenges to security, governance and development within the region.

  • 13 March 2013

    Taking place in Washington, D.C on the 13-14 March, the 2013 EUWF served as a reminder that diplomacy, development and defence are all important elements in attempts to maintain stability and generate growth, even in times of budgetary constraints.

  • 11 June 2012

    The EUISS, in the framework of the Observatoire de l’Afrique, organised a briefing in partnership with Open Society Foundations to analyse to what extent Nigeria's planned constitutional reform can change to the country’s political and socio-economic system.

  • 29 May 2012

    In the framework of the Observatoire de l’Afrique, the EUISS, in collaboration with the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP), organised an Africa Briefing to debate the involvement of African diaspora in peace processes and the prospects of developing a clear agenda this topic within the EU.

  • 18 October 2011

    The third conference of the two-year research project ‘Ensuring peace and security in Africa: Implementing a new EU-Africa partnership’ focusing in particular on bilateral relationships with major African countries, EU crisis management policies and democratisation efforts in the post-Lisbon world.

  • 17 June 2011

    Report on two experts' group meetings in Paris and Brussels aimed at providing options and recommendations for the formulation of EU counter-piracy policies.

  • 09 June 2011

    Bringing together key experts on Nigerian politics and representatives from a wide range of organisations, this Africa Briefing (held in Brussels on 9 June 2011) explored the main challenges for Nigeria in a post-electoral context.

  • 25 January 2011

    Un briefing, organisé dans le cadre de l'Observatoire de l'Afrique, a été organisé à l'IESUE le 25 janvier 2011 pour discuter des options possible de sortie de crise.

  • 09 December 2010

    Is Sudan ready for its referendum? This EUISS seminar report, ‘The Future of Sudan: challenges ahead’, analyses future scenarios for governance and conflict following the upcoming independence referendum in Southern Sudan on 9 January 2011. The report also proposes various roles the international community, the EU and regional organisations could play in Sudan.

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