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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 the African Union and the EU as privileged and equal partners to shape a fairer, multilateral global order. This new approach will also shape the post-Cotonou agreement and EU support to the Agenda 2063.

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.

African Futures 2030 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.

More information on the Task Force




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    25October 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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    18July 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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    03June 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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    27May 2013

    The management of the Nile's precious waters has always been a delicate exercise and with no major event disrupting the status quo, the water politics of the river has long remained relatively low-key. Growing pressures on the river, however, may be about to change that situation.

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    22May 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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    22May 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.

  • 23April 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.

  • 13March 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.

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    18February 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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    30November 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.