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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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  • 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.

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    24 January 2014

    This alert provides an overview of the key events and potential political crises that are likely to occur in selected countries in sub-Saharan Africa in the coming year.

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    24 January 2014

    With the decision to launch EUFOR RCA Bangui, EU member states appear to be displaying a willingness to inject new momentum into crisis management in sub-Saharan Africa. But how likely is it that the situation in the CAR will be sufficiently stable in six months to allow the EU to declare victory and hand over to AU forces or the UN?

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    17 January 2014

    This alert explores the EU’s security engagement in Somalia. It highlights the fact that, despite its sizeable financial contribution to the force, the EU does not have leverage on AMISOM’s operational command or its troop architecture. EU tools are not currently being used to their full potential in the country and their eventual effectiveness is ultimately dependent on other partners’ efforts.

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    13 December 2013

    Despite the progress made since the presidential elections earlier this year, serious disputes remain over the status of the regions in northern Mali. With extremists beginning to take advantage of the situation, this alert explains why the country must break the current political deadlock and begin the long-overdue process of reconciliation.

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    06 December 2013

    L’envoi de troupes françaises en République centrafricaine est une étape d’une approche qui rappelle celle gouvernant la gestion de la crise malienne. Mais les parallèles entre ces deux processus soulignent certaines difficultés, notamment les relations difficiles entre organisations régionales et sous-régionales, les carences de l’approche régionale et la faiblesse des acteurs africains. Quelles solutions existe-t-il, et l’UE est-elle en mesure d’apporter des solutions?

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    29 November 2013

    This brief analyses what impact the five BRICS countries are likely to have in global politics in the years to come, and what future trajectory the grouping might take. The BRICS ‘club’ may or may not last – in its present or another formation – but its rise is a wake-up call for the EU to deepen its bilateral relations with individual BRICS and possibly reconsider its own position in the emerging system of global governance.

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    25 October 2013

    Aujourd’hui, la situation sécuritaire et politique en République Centrafricaine est grave : elle affecte la vie courante de chaque centrafricain. La rébellion Séléka a endommagé l’autorité de l’Etat, des Forces armées, et anéanti les services publics minimaux. Ce Brief souligne que le rétablissement de la sécurité est l’objectif prioritaire, mais celui-ci dépend fortement de la (re)construction de l’Etat.

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    18 July 2013

    With the Malian population set to go to the polls to elect a new president at the end of the month, this timely brief lays out the challenges and difficulties that the future head of state, regardless of who is elected, will be faced with in order to ensure long-standing stability and move Mali out of its conflict stage.

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    03 June 2013

    In the aftermath of two deadly attacks in northern Niger, there are concerns that the country could be beginning the similar descent into chaos that devastated its neighbour. Yet although Niger appears to suffer from some of the same problems as Mali at first glance, this alert seeks to prove that realities on the ground are somewhat different.

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    22 May 2013

    Following a spectacular decline in the Gulf of Aden, incidents of armed robbery at sea and piracy are now on the rise in the Gulf of Guinea. Given the region's importance for the EU, are there lessons that can be learned and usefully transferred from Gulf to Gulf?

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    22 May 2013

    On 25 April, the UN Security established MINUSMA to take over from the African-led mission (AFISMA) in Mali. This alert explores the possible impact of ‘robust peacekeeping’ in Mali and draws attention to the current application of an emerging template for inter-institutional cooperation in military crisis management.

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    18 February 2013

    Despite Africa’s rainy equatorial zone, long rivers, great lakes and vast shores, water is becoming an increasingly scarce commodity. Convincing policy responses are required in order to alleviate growing pressure on water resources that could eventually lead to domestic unrest, exacerbate existing inter-state tensions and even constitute a source of armed conflict.

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    30 November 2012

    This policy brief looks at the prospects for the proposed EU training mission in Mali and examines what lessons might be learned from the EU’s previous contribution to international peacekeeping efforts in Somalia as well as the exent to which the fragile security situation in Northern Mali has the potential to become another Afghanistan.

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    12 July 2012

    As many European governments introduce their biggest defence budget cuts in years, the impact on their collective military capabilities may be lessened by exploiting two directives designed to integrate the EU defence market.

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    27 June 2012

    Over the last decade, researchers and policy-makers have paid increasing attention to diasporas. This Occasional Paper explores the untapped potential of African diaspora communities in promoting peace in their homelands and assesses how the European Union can engage with these non-state actors in the field of peace and security.

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    15 May 2012

    L’interrogation à laquelle tente de répondre la présente étude est de savoir si l’investissement de l’UE dans la CEEAC en tant qu’acteur de sécurité collective en Afrique centrale se justifie. Le constat, il faut le regretter, n’est pas encourageant. Intervenant sur un milieu il est vrai peu porteur, l’UE ne s’est pas donné les moyens des fins affichées.

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    20 December 2011

    Following the elections in the DRC, it is likely that a small circle of ruling elites will tighten their grip on the state. Space for political opposition and civil society will shrink. To prevent this, the trust of the Congolese people in the political process must, at least partly, be restored.

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    15 November 2011

    The Arab democratic wave has not had an effect on Africa as much as some had hoped. But the situation on the other side of the Sahara is more nuanced. Here, the author explores several scenarios where sub-Saharan African nations may face crucial turning points.

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    27 July 2011

    In Africa, the aid and security policies of the EU and China are often contradictory. Rather than overemphasise the norms debate, the author argues, the EU and China should focus on seeking common ground and developing a pragmatic approach.

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