You are here

Africa

The African continent is undergoing profound transformations. Traditional and hybrid threats, growing violent extremism, structural and climate-related vulnerabilities, and migratory pressures represent some of the challenges faced by the continent.

At the same time, Africa is also witnessing fast-paced political, economic and technological progress. This is radically changing its societies and institutions,  with African countries gaining a new prominence in a multipolar world, as demonstrated by the accession of the African Union (AU) to the G20 in September 2023.

External shocks, such as the Covid-19 pandemic and the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, have accelerated 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 strategic alliance with Africa. It aims to 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 between the AU and EU, such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063. ‘A Joint Vision for 2030’, adopted in 2022, reiterates the need for a closer partnership for a common future and identifies key priorities in four domains: prosperity and sustainability, peace and security, migration and mobility and multilateralism.

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 to contribute to forging 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.

Flagship initiatives

Chaillot Papers

Four flagship publications exploring the new geo-strategic landscape in Africa:

  • The Africa Atlas ‘maps’ areas of shared interest in the partnership between the EU and the AU and key trends and trajectories by means of visuals and infographics, thus letting data speak through graphics, charts and maps.
  • African Spaces accounts for physical and non-physical spaces where geopolitical competition takes place in the continent.
  • African Futures 2030 uses foresight scenarios to explore the implications of the African Continental Free Trade Area for peace and prosperity.
  • African Strategies analyses the evolution of European and global actors’ strategies towards the continent, as a result of the ‘new scramble for Africa’.

EUISS-COAFR Meetings 

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 to contribute to enhanced conflict analysis that serves policy planning and policymaking. Several analyses of African conflict situations have been published under the series.

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.

 

Pages

  • Download document
    16October 2015

    Why do so many analysts fall into the trap of simply labelling Africa as either ‘cursed’ or ‘rising’? This Alert looks at how the validity of the empirical assessments on which both interpretations are based has been put into question.

  • 11September 2015

    The European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) organised this conference on the Sahel as part of the activities held under the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

  • 30June 2015

    In association with DG DEVCO of the European Commission and the European External Action Service, the EUISS held a conference on Maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea on 30 June 2015 in Brussels.

  • Download document
    26June 2015

    Niger is increasingly becoming a major hub for drugs and arms smuggling in the Sahel region, as well as for clandestine migration across the desert, into Libya, and eventually Europe. Can Niger block these irregular migration and smuggling routes – and if so, will it?

  • Download document
    12June 2015

    Half-way through a year that many dubbed ‘a milestone for African elections’, a mixed picture emerges. President Buhari’s inauguration in Nigeria celebrated the victory of an opposition party in peaceful, free elections. Yet Sudan’s sham election, Ethiopia’s marginal opening and Burundi’s escalating violence tell another story.

  • Download document
    12June 2015

    This Chaillot Paper looks at CSDP operations and missions, and explores how they fit into the broader crisis management environment and multilateral efforts towards international peace. It highlights the inherent constraints facing CSDP and how these inevitably limit its overall impact or degree of success. The paper also examines the EU’s added value and the extent to which CSDP is moving forward at various levels.

  • Download document
    05June 2015

    With the five BRICS countries continuing to expand and institutionalise their cooperation on key international issues in an attempt to further increase their global clout, this Brief takes a look at the EU’s response to their rise. Should the BRICS be treated individually or as a group by the Union?

  • Download document
    13March 2015

    With the EU-led operation in the Central African Republic (CAR), EUFOR RCA, coming to an end after a little less than a year, this Alert assesses the outcome of the mission. What lessons can be drawn from the experience of its launch and deployment?

  • Download document
    27February 2015

    As elections approach in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Republic of the Congo, Uganda and Rwanda, the entire Great Lakes region is bracing itself for a potential of a spike in conflict. This Brief assesses the situation in the DRC, where President Kabila is seeking to control the army, stifle opposition and civil society, and break free of donor pressure. What lessons can be drawn from the situation there?

  • Download document
    06February 2015

    With Africa’s biggest economy set to go to the polls on 14 February, this Alert explores some of the possible outcomes and the regionalisation of the threat posed by terrorist group Boko Haram.

Pages

Pages

  • Download document
    01October 2006

    Qui aurait cru, un an après le marasme politique issu des « non » au référendum sur la Constitution, que l’Union allait devenir, en quelques mois, l’un des acteurs indispensables pour la stabilisation des crises, notamment au Moyen-Orient ?

  • Download document
    01July 2006
    By

    As we finalise this second issue of the ESDP newsletter, the European Union is about to launch its fourth military operation under the European Security and Defence Policy: the UN force, MONUC, during the crucial electoral period in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The newsletter places the new mission in the context of the EU's strong, long-standing and multifaceted commitment to the DRC and its transition process.

  • Download document
    01June 2006

    On 5 May 2006, a Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) was signed by the Government of Sudan (GoS) and one of the rebel movements in Darfur, the Minawi faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement. Furthermore, on 16 May 2006, the Security Council of the United Nations (UNSC) adopted a resolution to strengthen the African Union (AU) mission in Darfur prior to the deployment of an United Nations mission.

  • Download document
    01March 2006

    The European Union (EU) has for a long time paid attention to processes of regional integration and cooperation on other continents. However, the relations the EU has developed with other regional or sub-regional organisations until a very recent period were essentially focused on economic, development and trade issues, partly because of the late emergence of the EU itself as a foreign and security actor.

  • 01January 2006

    A l'encontre des perceptions des années 1990, une amélioration s'esquisse sur le continent africain. L'« afro-pessimisme » résultant de multiples conflits et de difficultés économiques récurrentes semble s'estomper au profit d'une prise en compte de l'hétérogénéité des situations africaines. Dans le sillage de ces évolutions, le Conseil de l'Union européenne des 15 et 16 décembre 2005 a adopté une nouvelle stratégie pour l'Afrique.

  • Download document
    01January 2006

    Quand on aime, on ne compte pas, dit la sagesse populaire. A contrario donc, les batailles sévères entre Etats membres sur l’avenir du budget européen en disent long sur la double crise de confiance et de solidarité que traverse l’Union depuis plus de six mois. Au point que l’on peut se demander si ce sont bien les « non » français et néerlandais au référendum sur la Constitution qui ont déclenché la crise, ou s’ils n’ont été finalement que les déclencheurs ou les révélateurs d’une rupture plus profonde depuis longtemps présente dans la dynamique européenne.

  • Download document
    01October 2005

    En 2004, 20% des minerais extraits sur le continent africain ont été exportés vers la Chine ; 20% des importations chinoises de pétrole proviennent désormais des pays d'Afrique sub-saharienne. Bien que la Chine ne réalise que 2,4% de son commerce extérieur en biens manufacturés avec l'Afrique, de nouveaux types d'exportations chinoises - avec des produits à plus forte valeur ajoutée - sont apparus ces dernières années vers les pays africains : en l'espace de quatre ans, le volume des échanges a été multiplié par trois entre la Chine et l'Afrique sub-saharienne.

  • Download document
    01May 2005

    Depuis le début des années 1990, l'Union poursuit un objectif ambitieux aujourd'hui défini par la Stratégie européenne de Sécurité : contribuer à un monde meilleur. La région du monde à la fois la plus pauvre et la plus sujette à la violence est celle avec laquelle le projet européen entretient une relation datant de ses origines et dont le destin a longtemps été façonné par ses Etats membres : l'Afrique subsaharienne.

  • Download document
    01November 2004

    Le nombre croissant et la complexité grandissante des situations de crise en Afrique, ainsi qu’un intérêt moins marqué de la communauté internationale pour la région au lendemain de la guerre froide, ont conduit de nombreux États et organisations africains à prendre des initiatives pour trouver des solutions à leurs propres problèmes.

  • Download document
    01April 2004

    The increasing number and complexity of crisis situations in Africa and the declining interest of the international community in the region in the aftermath of the Cold War has led many African states and organisations to take a more proactive stance in their attempts to find solutions to their own problems.

Pages