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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 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 the end of 2020, the EUISS is running an African Futures 2030 Task Force.

The main objective of this Task Force is to explore trends affecting the future of Africa in the next ten years, emphasising challenges and opportunities for policymaking. For more information, please click here.

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  • 26February 2016

    As part of the outreach and consultation process for the EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy (EUGS), the EUISS and the Netherlands Presidency of the Council of the EU organised a conference on 26 February 2016 to assess the current multilateral approaches to Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) in the Horn of Africa in Brussels.

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    17February 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?

  • 17February 2016

    Part of the expert outreach and consultation process for the preparation of the EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy, this joint conference was held on 17-18 February 2016 at the Maison de la recherche in Paris.

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    12February 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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    19January 2016

    The growing consumer market for illicit substances in Europe also poses challenges for West Africa. This Alert shows how its optimal geographical location is turning it into a hotbed for smuggling networks operating out of Latin America.

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    17December 2015

    The Malian peace process underway is at risk of derailing once again. In order to avoid the mistakes of the past, further international support is needed to curb jihadist terrorist groups and create a more favourable security environment for the demilitarisation of the volatile north.

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    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.

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    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?

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    06June 2014

    This Brief looks at the emerging functional federal structures of a country long considered a quintessential ‘failed state’. Why is it that lasting peace and stability remain elusive? And how can the international community best assist the Federal Government of Somalia translate recent security gains into political and developmental progress?

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    11April 2014

    This Alert examines EU-Africa relations in light of the recent high-level summit held in Brussels. What are the expectations of both partners? And how can a deeper, more comprehensive bilateral relationship be achieved?

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    28February 2014

    Sub-Saharan Africa is both blessed with immense energy resources and challenged by desperate energy poverty. This Brief explains how, as Europe diversifies its energy suppliers and seeks improved energy security, a focus on better energy governance and improved energy sustainability in Africa can help manage this contradiction.

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    13February 2014

    Le déploiement prochain d’une mission EUFOR en RCA aura comme objectif la protection des populations civiles. Ce mandat est-il réaliste, et quelles leçons peut-on tirer d’opérations dans le passé ayant eu des mandats similaires ?

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    24January 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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    24January 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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    17January 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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    13December 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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    06December 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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    29November 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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