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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 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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    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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    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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    20 April 2016

    Countering violent extremism (CVE) is a fledging approach to combatting radicalisation in the Horn of Africa. But in spite of encouraging progress, CVE remains a tall order as programme implementation continues to be regionally fragmented and largely underfunded.

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    18 April 2016

    This Report, which focuses on key features of African armed forces, serves as an introductory guide to those interested not only in the military institutions themselves, but also the context in which European CSDP operations in Africa are deployed.

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    01 April 2016

    Beyond the exchange of raw materials for manufactured goods, China’s and India’s relations with the African continent are slowly gaining traction, particularly in the security sphere. But upholding relations with heavyweight OECD partners like the EU remains fundamental for Africa’s economic diversification, as well as democratic consolidation.

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    17 February 2016

    With Africans increasingly taking charge of security governance on their continent, this Brief assess to what extent the African Union’s partnership with the EU is truly strategic. Have the two continents finally managed to overcome the donor-recipient dynamic which long dominated their relationship?

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    12 February 2016

    As both China and India scramble for influence in the region, the ocean looks increasingly like the board of Go – the great encircling game. Is there a maritime governance role there for the EU? One which allows it to finally develop its strategic partnership with the South Asian giant?

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  • 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.

  • 02 July 2010

    Somalia has developed into a serious security challenge both regionally and internationally. It is a hotbed of Islamist terror and the origin of an increasing wave of piracy. This seminar provided an update and analysis of the Somali crisis, exploring avenues for sustainable crisis resolution and crisis management approaches.

  • 18 March 2010

    The EUFOR Tchad/RCA lessons learned seminar hosted by the Institute on 18 March facilitated a debate on the effectiveness of the EU mission in Chad. The discussions resulted in a number of recommendations for the planning, conduct and execution of subsequent EU operations and generated several ideas for the future of the CSDP.

  • 08 June 2009

    On 8 and 9 June 2009, a group of some 40 experts working on Sudan gathered for a workshop which examined various post-referendum scenarios. This workshop report summarises the debates and offers some advice.

  • 23 October 2007

    The EUISS co-hosted a high-level conference in Lisbon with the Portuguese Ministry of Defence to debate the role of the EU in African security, the rule of law and political control of the African security sector and the concepts of ownership and responsibility in EU-African co-operation.

  • 09 July 2007

    This seminar was convened in order to understand the humanitarian crisis in all its complexity but also to determine how the European Union can act effectively in such circumstances as well as to ascertain what could be done in the future to prevent such humanitarian disasters from happening again.

  • 27 June 2007

    This seminar aimed at reviewing standard political and economical formula in implementing peace. As five ESDP operations have taken place in Africa, this seminar also aimed at identifying the international and local contexts in which the EU is developing its crisis management instruments.

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